Recovering alcoholic who feared he frittered inheritance died after overdosing, inquest hears

Wandsworth Guardian: The inquest heard on previous occasions he self harmed The inquest heard on previous occasions he self harmed

A recovering alcoholic died after overdosing on prescription tablets after fearing he frittered away his inheritance.

Paul Morhig, 58, of Belvedere Court, Upper Richmond Road, Putney, was discovered lying dead on the floor of his flat by a friend.

On Friday Westminster Coroner's Court heard Mr Morhig suffered from a range of mental health problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

He lived alone with no family or a job, living off a large inheritance left to him by his father.

The inquest heard on previous occasions he self harmed, at one time setting fire to his clothes and burning himself.

In January 2013 he cut his arms, with his GP referring him to the Priory for treatment.

Mr Morhig made the decision to abstain from drinking all alcohol and was discharged in September 2013 after making good progress.

Dr John Cowen, who treated Mr Morhig for 25 years, said he had never seen him look so well in the last few weeks of his life.

But in November he appeared to have relapsed, contacting friend Dennis Grew to get him a bottle of vodka.

Mr Grew said: "He was complaining he wanted to end it all because he had spent all his inheritance.

"I went back to return the keys on November 24 about 8am, he was asleep by the bed.

"He can sleep for a week and not hear from him, but the way he was I wanted to keep in contact. He was always down, he just didn't have any interests or nothing."

On November 27 Mr Grew returned to the flat and found Mr Morhig lying on the floor with blood around his mouth.

It appeared he had been using his computer as the mouse was wrapped around his body, while empty boxes of prescription drugs were lying on his bed.

Police officers finding his fridge stacked full with alcohol and a post-mortem examination found a mixture of venlafaxine, norfloxacin, mesopin and other prescription drugs in his system, but no alcohol.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe recorded an open verdict, with the mixture of drugs causing coronary artery disease.

She said: "The GP felt that he had improved himself and that he had stopped his alcohol, he seemed well.

"He was saying he felt depressed, concerned he had spent all of his money.

"There was no note or intention left. There was a significant number of tablets taken.

"He might have taken them as a cry for help, hoping he would be found."

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