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Former Claret took his own life - inquest

By Telegraph newsdesk


A FORMER Burnley FC player took his own life by driving his car off a pier into the sea, an inquest has heard.


Steven McAdam, 43, who played for the Clarets in a two-year spell between 1978 and 1980, was upset after being sent home from hospital because no psychiatric beds were available anywhere in Northern Ireland, an inquest heard today.


He was assessed in a hospital emergency department as being a danger to himself but his family was told "take him home and don't leave him alone".


advertisementThey did as told, but less than 48 hours later Mr McAdam slipped out of the back door of his home in Bangor, Co Down and killed himself.


He drove six miles down the coast to Donaghadee Harbour went along their pier and drove into the water.


Left-back Mr McAdam signed for Burnley from Portadown in May 1978 but only made five appearances.


He then moved on and also played for Oldham Athletic, Barnsley and Wigan Athletic.


At the inquest yesterday a shocked eyewitness said his last act before accelerating to his death in the water was to throw his driving licence onto the pier - it was handed to police who used it to identify him.


Mr McAdam, who had played for Portadown in the Irish League before moving to East Lancashire, became increasingly depressed as ME made him more disabled and reliant on his family.


The inquest heard Mr McAdam had threatened previously to take his life - even leaving his wife a suicide note and driving to a beach with a knife.


He told his family on that occasion he couldn't go through with it because of his love for his wife and two children.


His family blame the health service for his death for not providing the psychiatric care they say he needed.


Northern Ireland senior coroner John Leckey said at the opening of the inquest at Belfast Coroners Court he had no doubt Mr McAdam took his own life, but had a series of questions that needed answering.


Mr Leckey said he wanted to know if admission to a psychiatric unit had been based on need or availability - whether he could have been sectioned, and if not why not, and whether such a move would have made a bed available.


He said: "Is it fair to expect a family to assume responsibility for the wellbeing of someone such as Steven who has expressed suicidal thoughts and has been assessed as requiring admission to a psychiatric unit.


"What would have happened if the family refused to accept such responsibility".


The coroner added: "Whilst measures may be put in place to reduce the risk of a person taking their own life it is impossible to remove the risk altogether.


"A person determined to take their own life will always find a way regardless of what has been done to prevent that".

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While all the paedo's and rapists are filling the mental hospitals, there is no room for properly mentally ill and depressed people - jail the scum and let real sick people get treatment.


Just by being paedo's and rapists, I'd say that makes them pretty mentally ill. It can probably be easily dealt with in an alternative manner in alot of cases though. However, until OldhamSheridan's Harsh But Fair Party gets elected and brings in chemical castration for these folk...



(and before you add, no it isn't just Sheria-dan Law)

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This is obviously a sad affair but what isn't made clear is if there were no beds in the entire period between the time he saught medical attention and the time he took his own life. It might not be a matter of there being no beds but maybe not the right sort of staff or enough staff for this gentleman to be admitted. As to paedos and rapists while they might be mentally ill they are hospitalised in secure units which are more like prisions than hospitals. The NHS is just that so it helps people who need help in whatever form it can but it doesn't have unlimited funds, space or employees so it can't always help everyone who needs it as much as possible and there are often cases where too much help and support is given to people who don't necessarily need it at the expense of others but this is quite often about people abusing the system. It will be interesting to see what the coroner makes of this.


PS chemical castration is when you give a male some drugs which prevent them from being able to reproduce as opposed to the standard 'permanent' contraceptive methods which usually involve surgery

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