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Sniffing addict’s suicide in camper

Doncaster Coroner Nicola Mundy. Picture: Michael Ford

Doncaster Coroner Nicola Mundy. Picture: Michael Ford

A COMPUTER expert addicted to sniffing butane gas was found dead in a camper van parked in his parents’ garden, a Doncaster inquest was told.

After hearing that 45-year-old John Taylor left a note inside the vehicle, Coroner Nicola Mundy recorded a verdict that he took his own life, saying he had ‘sadly succumbed to his addictions’.

Four cans of butane gas were found when police entered the Mercedes van parked in the front garden of David and Lynne Johnson’s semi-detached home in Highbury Avenue, Cantley, last summer.

Mr Johnson found his stepson’s body when he checked on his welfare on the afternoon of July 18.

PC Jonathan Byrne, who investigated the sudden death, said there were no signs of disturbance in the camper van, and there was no involvement of a third-party.

He said a note was clearly visible on the side of a table near the body.

Of the four gas canisters, one was empty and another half full.

Mr Taylor was a computer programmer who had been married to Stephanie, a teacher, and they had two children, but the marriage had failed.

His parents gave evidence that he had had ‘a long struggle with alcohol and the inhalation of butane gas’.

They had taken steps to obtain help for him but his problems had continued.

After the marriage broke down he had been unable to see much of his children because of geographical difficulties.

Mr Taylor had been a computer programmer but was out of work at the time of his death and had been seeking employment without success.

“That gave him more time on his hands and, given his addictions, that placed him at more risk,” said Ms Mundy.

A pathologist found Mr Taylor had not been drinking before his death but the cause of death was butane inhalation.

The coroner said the note he wrote expressed an intention to take his own life and there had been previous suicide attempts with butane gas.

 

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