A MAN who broke both his legs after drunkenly breaking into a lido took his own life in part due to fears he could be permanently disabled, an inquest has heard.

Barry Douglas, 44, was found dead at his home in Aldershot, Hampshire on February 17.


Friends had contacted staff at his supported housing he had moved to as they had not heard from him in a for a few days.

On Wednesday an inquest into his death led by coroner Christopher Wilkinson concluded Mr Douglas had taken his own life.

Four months before, in August 2021, Mr Douglas and friend Claire Vickers broke into Aldershot Lido at 2am following a day of drinking. Mr Douglas had also taken cocaine.

The pair went down a waterslide and crashed into a barrier at the bottom. Mr Douglas broke both legs meaning he was no longer able to continue his job as a forklift driver, and was forced to move into supported housing as he was wheelchair-bound during his recovery.

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The inquest heard that following the accident, Mr Douglas suffered low mood due to not being able to work and was prescribed antidepressants.

He also had financial worries due to relying on disability benefits and was concerned that he could be left disabled.

In a statement, Mr Douglas's mother Ruth said: "The accident didn't help his frame of mind but he didn't say he was depressed to me.

"He complained about cold in his flat, so I asked him to come home to Scotland, but being independent he refused.

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"He was worried about money, going from a full-time wage to benefits was a big drop. He was desperate to get back to work but he was told it could take two years to be fit again, and there was a concern that he could be left crippled."

Mr Douglas was dependent on alcohol, sometimes drinking 500ml to 1 litre of vodka per day, and was engaging with a substance abuse support service called Inclusion in the months before his death. He was also an occasional user of cocaine and heroin.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Clare Hatherley, harm reduction coordinator at Inclusion Hampshire, said: "After the accident in 2021 he referred himself to us.

"I feel there were some gaps in our practice which may not have directly contributed to Barry's death, but there were processes in place that weren't followed, unfortunately.

"I feel with the complexity of his issues he should have been triaged to a different pathway, and due to his opiate use he should have been offered all detox options."

Ms Hatherley explained Inclusion's procedures had been updated and the staff member and team involved with supporting Mr Douglas have been given additional training.


YOU ARE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

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