Sister queries hospital decision on suicidal man

GUNSHOT: James Douglas-Home

GUNSHOT: James Douglas-Home

First published in News

THE sister of racehorse trainer James Douglas-Home questioned why a psychiatrist did not admit him to hospital the day before he shot himself in the head.

At the inquest yesterday into the 61-year-old’s death, held at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court, assistant coroner Peter Clark ruled the Wantage resident had committed suicide on May 8 after suffering depression for “a number of months”.

The body of Mr Douglas-Home, the 28th Baron Dacre, was discovered in the bedroom of his home in Park Lane, East Lockinge by his sister, Sarah Dent.

Ms Dent, of Ireland, told the court it was “surprising” that psychiatrist Dr Christopher Muller-Pollard had expected her brother to decide whether to admit himself into the Capio Nightingale Hospital in London because he was very indecisive. “He could barely decide whether to eat dinner,” she said.

The psychiatrist met widower Mr Douglas-Home for the first time on May 7 and recommended he be treated at the hospital but Mr Douglas-Home wanted to return home.

“He was feeling suicidal two days before his appointment with me but he was no longer suicidal,” Dr Muller-Pollard said in a statement.

Mr Clark said Mr Douglas-Home had “a passive death wish” and that the “violent nature of the gunshot “indicated there was a clear intention” to kill himself.

Mr Douglas-Home’s uncle, Sir Alec, was Conservative Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964.

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