Leeds & West Yorkshire

GP had housing 'concerns' before Leeds man found dead

Timothy McComb with his sister Katie Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Timothy McComb, pictured with his sister Katie, was found dead in August 2016

A GP who saw a mental health patient days before he was found hanged had concerns about the sheltered housing unit he was living in, an inquest has heard.

Timothy McComb, 38, was discovered dead at his home in Cottingley Court, Leeds, in August 2016.

Dr Hari U Pai told the jury inquest that many people who had lived at the unit were "repeatedly self-harming".

He said he had not found him to be suicidal a few days before his death.

Giving evidence at Wakefield Coroner's Court, Dr U Pai said he had retired from general practice partly because of how much Mr McComb's death had affected him.

He said Mr McComb appeared to be depressed and had a fear of becoming homeless and having no money.

"I had concerns that Cottingley Court was the right place for him, because patients there were repeatedly self-harming and taking drugs," he added.

Mr McComb's sister, Katie Siobhan told the inquest he had become "fixated" on becoming homeless, despite having somewhere to live and about £3,000 in the bank.

She said his mental health deteriorated in 2014 and he began to carry a doll around with him which he called Dennis, which he spoke to as if he were a human.

Miss Siobhan said Dennis took a hold on him and "it was like a doll possessed him".

She said her brother's fear of being homeless was exacerbated by living at Cottingley Court.

"We asked staff at Cottingley Court to reassure him, but I get the feeling he was asked for a service charge or reminded of the rules, he became more worried about being made homeless."

The coroner Jonathan Leach has asked the jury to consider if Mr McComb intended to take his own life and whether his death could have been prevented.

The inquest continues.

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