Depression led to death of Chipping butcher (41)

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A VILLAGE butcher shot himself in the head with a cattle gun after suffering from depression.

Mark Edward Robinson (41), a father, who worked in the popular family-run Robinson Bros butchers in Garstang Road, Chipping, shot himself in the garage of his home on March 6th. He was air-lifted to Royal Preston Hospital, but died there a week later on March 13th.

At an inquest in Clitheroe, East Lancashire Coroner Mr Michael Singleton confirmed the cause of death was a traumatic brain injury and Mark had killed himself due to the imbalance of his mind.

The inquest heard how, in May 2003, Mark was first diagnosed as suffering from depression and was prescribed anti-depressants.

His wife, Susan, said: "He was up and down a bit and never quite came back to the full Mark. On a couple of occasions he went to Royal Preston Hospital where he spoke to psychiatrists who changed his medication in October 2003. He seemed fine after that."

The inquest heard that, last December, Mark stopped taking his medication.

A day before his suicide bid, he said to his wife "he felt down and everything was on top of him". Susan added: "It was all a bit out of the blue and we had a chat. He said he felt better after the chat."

The next morning, however, Mark did not want to get out of bed and Susan persuaded him to visit Royal Preston Hospital as she felt he needed urgent attention. She explained: "He saw a doctor who asked if he had any suicidal thoughts to which he replied 'yes'. He said he stopped taking his medication at Christmas as he felt fine and had read in the paper about the long-term effects of the drug. He did, however, state he had re-started his medication a week ago, but could not remember exactly when."

Susan added the doctor did not prescribe anything, but asked the couple to arrange an appointment with their GP.

On arriving home, Susan recalled Mark wanted to be left alone, but had the meat ready for delivery. Susan decided to deliver the meat for him and left the house around 2 p.m. She returned about six minutes later to find Mark's parents, Bill and Margaret Robinson, at the house and she knew immediately there was a problem. Susan added emergency services were called and local residents, some of whom were nurses, were helping with medical attention.

The inquest heard how Bill had discovered the cattle gun, which was normally kept in the butchers, on the floor behind Mark's head.