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Maidstone man killed himself days before Christmas, an inquest heard

By David Gazet

The death of a Maidstone man found in his home days before Christmas was suicide, a coroner has ruled.

An inquest held at Archbishop’s Palace heard how Martin Castle was discovered in his home in Melville Road by police after a worried friend raised concerns about his welfare on December 21.

Officers forced their way inside and paramedics pronounced the 62-year-old dead at the scene.

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone

Dr David Rouse, an independent pathologist conducted a postmortem on Mr Castle’s body.

He ruled the medical cause of death to be suspension (hanging). 

A toxicology report also concluded there were potentially fatal levels of prescription antidepressant sertraline in Mr Castle’s system.

There was no evidence of third-party involvement and no note was found at the scene.

Originally from Gravesend, the court heard how Mr Castle had previously experienced anxiety and depression and previously received psychotherapy and counselling. 

 Melville Road, Maidstone. Picture by Matthew Walker

Melville Road, Maidstone. Picture by: Matthew Walker

He was prescribed sertraline and this was renewed when he attended Mote Medical Practice complaining of excessive sweating days before his death.

He had also told a friend about his low mood and his concern about his drinking habit.

Summing up senior coroner Patricia Harding, said:“I am satisfied Martin Castle intended to cause his own death and therefore intended to commit suicide.”

Family did not attend the hearing.

If you would like confidential support about an emotional issue, contact Samaritans for free on 116 123.

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