Cumbria

Gunman Derrick Bird 'suffered flashbacks'

Top row from left, Jane Robinson, Darren Rewcastle, David Bird, Jamie Clark, Garry Purdham and Michael Pike. Bottom row from left, Isaac Dixon, Susan Hughes, Jennifer Jackson, James Jackson, Kenneth Fishburn and Kevin Commons.
Image caption Bird killed 12 people and injured a further 11

Cumbria gunman Derrick Bird had flashbacks from an assault he suffered while he was working as a taxi driver in October 2007, an inquest has heard.

He visited the Flatt Walks surgery, in Whitehaven, four times after the attack which left him with two broken teeth and bruising to the jaw.

But Dr David Rogers told the hearing there was no history of him ever being diagnosed with mental health problems.

The inquest heard his medical history was "fairly unremarkable".

As well as the flashbacks, Bird, 52, also said he was nervous about working at night following the attack and complained about continuing shoulder pain.

Sense of smell

Dr Rogers told the hearing in Workington that on one occasion a discussion had taken place about the option of psychiatric help but Bird did not mention the incident in future consultations.

He said: "There is no history of him ever being diagnosed with any mental health problem.

"He was never referred to a specialist and was never given any prescriptions to anything related to a mental health problem."

Image caption Bird was left with two broken teeth when he was attacked in October 2007

Dr Marieke Van Bussel treated Bird on his last visit to the practice on 11 May last year, less than a month before he shot dead 12 people on 2 June.

He was concerned he had lost his sense of smell for more than a year and prescribed antibiotics and nasal spray were not having an effect.

She said: "I can remember him saying he was down which is not uncommon. You do not have any sense of food or smell or anything around you.

"I was not unduly concerned about that comment at the time it was made.

"I must say with hindsight that I don't think he came over as overly depressed."

Handwritten notes

The jury was shown photographs of Bird's home in Rowrah taken following the shootings.

A saw and shotgun barrel were found on the sofa and the deeds to the house were in a prominent position.

Letters about his tax affairs were screwed up in a bin and handwritten notes about his financial problems were in a kitchen drawer.

An air rifle, 20-bore shotgun, 460 live rounds for his .22 rifle and 440 rounds of shotgun ammunition were found.

His switched-off mobile phone was found in the pocket of his coat, which was hanging up downstairs.

The inquest, into the deaths of all Bird's victims as well as the gunman, continues at the Energus centre in Workington.

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