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Inquest hears of 'lovely and creative individual' who hanged himself in Slough home

A ‘lovely and creative individual’ from Slough who hanged himself at his home had been experiencing paranoid delusions of being watched and plotted against, an inquest heard.

James Williams, 49, was found hanged in his home in Benjamin Lane, Wexham in July last year by his brother Alexander Williams, who had not been able to get hold of him for a couple of days.

An inquest held at Reading Town Hall today (Monday) heard how Mr Williams was in regular contact with mental health professionals and had in recent months experienced high levels of paranoia.

When police attended his home in March, Mr Williams ‘believed everyone was out to get him and thought that his ID had been stolen,” said senior coroner for Berkshire Heidi Connor.

During a phone call with officers, he refused to give his date of birth over fears the call had been hacked half way through, the inquest heard.

Despite his beliefs, officers and other mental health professionals did not believe he was a risk to himself, the inquest was told.

The inquest heard how Mr Williams, who was HIV positive, reported finding empty bottles of his used HIV medication in his letter box despite none of his neighbours knowing about his illness, and feared he was being deliberately targeted.

A report by, Mr Williams’ GP, Dr Rachel Pope,  said that Mr Williams had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003 and had been prescribed sleeping, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication.

The inquest heard how Mr Williams had also had also been addicted to recreational drugs about 20 years ago.

“He was concerned about the neighbours and had despairing thoughts about his [failed] relationship the year before,” said the doctor’s report.

However, Dr Pope said that he was ‘in a much better place’ after seeing him in July compared to a meeting in February and did not show signs of suicidal intentions.

Ms Connor ruled that Mr Williams intentionally took his own life and died as a result of asphyxiation from hanging.

Darren Smith, who attended the inquest, described his lost friend as ‘a lovely and creative individual. He was a great person to be around.”

He reflected on how Mr Williams was going to the gym and focusing on his wellbeing before taking his life.

“It’s terrible, tragic, and I do recognise that all of the services have all tried to help him but if someone appears well, no one can consider what decisions that individual made.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this story, the Samaritans can offer 24-hour support to those struggling to cope or feeling emotional distress. Call 116 123.

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