Since the death of my friend Peter Williams in February 2012, I have had an active interest in supporting mental health charities and raising awareness of the issues and problems associated with vulnerable adults.
Peter is the inventor of the Vortex Hand Dryer, which holds the Guinness World Record for most efficient hand drying.
The 5 day inquest into Peter’s death took place June 3rd 2013, at Dunstable Coroner’s Court. The Coroner, Mr Oldham returned a narrative verdict.
Delivering his verdict the coroner said that Central Beds Council had lawfully set about recovering the debt. The coroner said that while he accepted the medical evidence given that Mr Williams was not suffering from any mental illness, he nevertheless was in a state of “stress, anxiety and depression” over the prospect of losing his 4-bed £200,000 detached-chalet style home at Still Waters, Jubilee Lane, Langford, Beds., where he had lived for 30 years.
Mr Oldham said in the last year he had “dealt” with three railway deaths and he said it was “with undying despair” that, in 2013, society couldn’t offer help to isolated and troubled individuals like Mr Williams. Mr Oldham said Mr Williams took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.
It is worth noting that the role of Coroner is to establish who the deceased was and how, when and where the deceased came by his or her death. It is not within the remit of a Coroner to establish blame and while the Council has been deemed to have acted lawfully that does not alter the fact that Mr Williams would be alive today if a more humane & compassionate approach had been taken at any point up to his eviction.