Overdose killed ‘devoted father’


A devoted father who had battled depression and relentless back pain died after taking a lethal dose of prescribed drugs, an inquest has heard.

Paul Reilly, 54, was found dead at home in Boythorpe Road, Chesterfield, by a housing support worker on January 5.

Chesterfield Coroners Court heard on Thursday that Mr Reilly had been forced into retirement due to back pain and had battled depression.

Pathologist Sheikh Saleh told the court Mr Reilly died of heart failure, which was triggered after he took a fatal dose of drug propranolol, which he was prescribed for anxiety.

The court heard Mr Reilly’s depression worsened after his estranged partner told him she was seeing another man.

The inquest heard Mr Reilly sent a text message to his family in Essex on January 3 saying: “If I don’t wake up, I want to be buried with my dad.”

His family immediately called police, who sent paramedics round to his home.

Paramedic Hesta Bailey said that although Mr Reilly seemed fine, he was taken to hospital for observations.

The court heard Mr Reilly became ‘agitated’ in hospital and discharged himself at 5am the following day.

Staff reported him missing and police attended his home at 9am.

The court heard Mr Reilly seemed fine, but refused to be readmitted to hospital.

Susan Macpherson, client support worker for Action Housing, told the court she received the text upon starting work on Monday, January 5.

Upon receipt, she went to see Mr Reilly. After getting no answer, she used a master key to enter this two-bedroom apartment and found him lying face down on the floor.

Mr Reilly was pronounced dead by paramedics at 3.50pm.

James Newman, assistant coroner for Derbyshire, gave a narrative conclusion. He said: “I have heard Paul was a devoted father who had battled with depression and also pain.”

Mr Newman said that, while there was evidence to form a conclusion of suicide, there was also evidence of Mr Reilly planning for a future and he could not be certain that he intended to take his own life.