Haverhill councillor took his own life - inquest rules

Active Business Centre ANL-161129-133123009
Active Business Centre ANL-161129-133123009

A former Haverhill councillor who worked tirelessly for his community took his life after being left depressed following the death of his wife.

The body of Phillip French, 72, was found in bed at his home in Cambridge Way, on May 11 after he had not been seen for several days.

Phillip French, former councillor for Haverhill Town, St Edmundsbury Borough and Suffolk County councils. ANL-160523-151312005

Phillip French, former councillor for Haverhill Town, St Edmundsbury Borough and Suffolk County councils. ANL-160523-151312005

An inquest today at the Active Business Centre in Bury St Edmunds, heard that a note was found in the kitchen of his home and a large amount of medication was found in the living room.

A post mortem examination showed that Mr French, who had consulted his GP about back problems, had a fatal concentration of painkiller in his body.

Mr French had been ‘hard hit’ by the death of his wife Agnes and found it difficult to move on, said his son in a statement. While at times he had periods of confidence, Mr French had also been depressed.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone recorded a conclusion that Mr French took his own life.

He had served as a town, borough and county councillor and also on several organisations including Haverhill Association of Voluntary Organisations, the Salvation Army and Citizen’s Advice Bureau among others.