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‘Wonderful’ man ‘driven to suicide by painkillers’
3:00pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
THE family of a forensic expert who “decapitated” himself on a train track revealed he was driven to suicide after having his fingers amputated.
Michael Hatcher, aged 33, had two fingers removed on his left hand following an accident when he went down a slide as a child.
In 2009 complications meant he had to have the stumps of his ring and little finger cut off completely.
He was prescribed powerful painkillers gabapentin and dihydrocodeine to relieve the agony but his family believe the side-effects of the drugs made him suicidal.
The dad-of-two, who worked as a senior forensic production technician at Evesham company Foster + Freeman, specialising in crime scenes, killed himself on July 1.
An inquest heard he left his home in Bromyard Road, Worcester, at 5.40am before going to Perry Wood Bridge, near Defford, Pershore, where he lay on the track.
Stourport Coroners Court heard he was hit by a train at 7.53am and Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams recorded a verdict of suicide.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Hatcher’s widow Kirsty, 28, said: “He was a wonderful man, hard-working, kind and a brilliant husband and father.
“We have two children, Callum, three, and Oscar who is five months old.
“Michael struggled with the constant pain in his hand and was prescribed painkillers and a beta blocker to ease the pain.
“He struggled with the side-effects for two-anda- half years.
“He just couldn’t win. If he didn’t take the tablets he was in pain, but if he did, the side-effects made him very low.
“The morning he died he came up to the bedroom and told me that he loved me. I told him that I loved him too. That was the last thing we said to each other.
“I am heartbroken and so is his eldest son. He was the love of my life.”
His sister Janine Philpotts, 36, said losing his fingers drove Michael over the edge.
“My brother was a happy person. Until he started taking those pills, they just zapped the life out of him.
“We were born in South Africa and we had a swimming pool and he broke his fingers on the slide. Doctors had to put pins in them to reset them. He would do anything for you and he had a heart of gold.”
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