Published: 11:30, 04 August 2017
A man took his own life after the effects of smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol brought on delusional episodes, an inquest has heard.
Frank Barton was found hanged on May 12 at his home in Pomfret Road, Chartham. A toxicology report revealed traces of a component of cannabis in his body.
The 45-year-old had recently been released from St Martin’s Hospital, where he had been admitted for 10 days on April 14. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Rehab Khalifa told the inquest that Mr Barton’s symptoms disappeared as soon as the effects of alcohol and cannabis had worn off.
She said: “He wanted to get back into a programme and to come off substances, especially cannaboids. He wanted to find employment and come off alcohol.”
Dr Khalifa maintained Mr Barton did not display symptoms of any alternative mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and said he was very pleasant and eager to seek treatment upon his release.
But his sister, Claire Barton, claimed he was released prematurely and believed an underlying illness was causing him to drink and take drugs.
She said: “We visited him and he pointed at the walls saying there were listening devices – he was always saying these things.
"He wanted to get back into a programme and to come off substances, especially cannaboids. He wanted to find employment and come off alcohol" - Dr Rehab Khalifa
“I think he played the hospital staff as he did not want to be there. He told us his family had put him in there – this has been going on for years and it’s not normal behaviour.”
Despite efforts by medics to contact him after his release, Mr Barton could not be reached. Police then contacted the family to see if they had seen him.
Ms Barton found her brother’s body after visiting his home and noticing a bag of clothes another sister had left on the doorstep days earlier had not been brought inside.
Assistant coroner Ian Goldup recorded a verdict of suicide.