Money worries led to man's suicide

A CAFE owner, who was admitted to a Scarborough psychiatric hospital after money problems, was found hanging from a bathroom door, an inquest heard.

Businessman Michael Ackers, 45, was confirmed dead after being taken to Scarborough Hospital on March 21 this year.

An inquest at Scarborough County Court heard how Mr Ackers was admitted to Cross Lane Hospital, Scarborough, on February 22 following an earlier suicide attempt and was placed under observation every 10 minutes.

This was changed to every 30 minutes when the risk of Mr Ackers trying to harm himself was considered “low”.

But his body was discovered in his room two days later by staff members Alison Welburn and Tony Carroll, who had gone to tell him his wife had arrived for a visit.

He had used a belt to hang himself.

Ms Welburn, a psychiatric nurse, said two days before his death, Mr Ackers told her he would not commit suicide on the ward, which contributed to the change in his observation.

His wife Colette said: “There was no indication he was unwell until two days before his first suicide attempt.

“He said ‘I have made a terrible mistake. There is no money in the business account and we are going to lose the house.’”

His wife of 14 years told how she was contacted by the police two days later who revealed her husband had tried to drive his car off a cliff.

Mr Ackers was diagnosed as suffering from psychotic depression.

Dr Prasanna de Silva, a consultant psychiatrist who examined Mr Ackers, defended the decision to change observation patterns.

Dr de Silva said: “He consistently told his family he didn’t have suicidal thoughts.

“I have no reason to doubt any of the actions of my junior doctor and other members of the team.

“In retrospect, I don’t think any other decisions could have been made in that situation.”

Coroner Michael Oakley recorded a verdict that Mr Ackers, of Lilla Close, Whitby, took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

He said: “It is clear he had been seen on a regular basis immediately prior to his death and the circumstances in which he was found do not lead me to any other conclusion than that he has deliberately taken his own life.”