Father may have been preparing for death before killing himself, inquest hearsBy Becky Barnes
February 08, 2013
A father-of-two may have been preparing for death before he killed himself, an inquest heard.
David Callam, 66, changed his will, cancelled magazine subscriptions, closed bank accounts and gave away some of his possessions in the weeks before he was found hanged on August 6 last year.
His daughter Nicola Callam-Parry told the inquest at Windsor Guildhall last Thursday she thought her dad had started to prepare for death after he gave his brother Martin some old Arsenal catalogues the weekend before his death.
She said: “Dad had been talking about what people might like when he died – he said he did not want to live to be an old man.
“He changed his will on July 26 – I think he was starting to think about it then.
“I think he knew he was dying.”
The inquest heard the retired mechanical engineer, of Droitwich Close, Harmans Water, had been treated for bowel cancer in 2003 and his wife Barbara had died aged 59 in October 2004.
In a written statement from Mr Callam’s other daughter Sarah Woodward, read by coroner Peter Bedford, she said her mother’s death had been a ‘huge blow to everybody’.
Sarah, who was not at the inquest, said Mr Callam had become carer to his father, who was suffering brain cancer, while he was still having treatment for bowel cancer and had also lost his close friend Tommy.
The inquest heard Mr Callam had ‘faced some difficult illnesses’, his health had ‘gone downhill’ and he had been diagnosed with heart failure at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, last June.
When he did not attend a follow-up doctor’s appointment on August 6 or answer the phone, Sarah went to his house and found him in the garage.
A written statement from PC Tracy Mills, who attend the scene, said that despite CPR attempts from ambulance crews, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
PC Mills found a suicide note, which read ‘It’s time to call it a day’.
A medical history provided by Dr Sarah Lewandowski, of Balfron and Forest End Medical Centre, Ringmead, showed Mr Callam had been prescribed anti-depressants since his wife’s death and took them only for a few days.
He had also struggled to give up smoking.
Nicola told the inquest: “He was such a strong person. I don’t think he wanted to burden anyone. He was very private and very proud.
“He had become isolated – he withdrew from society and slept all day, drinking more brandy and spirits. Rest in peace Dad.”
A post mortem concluded the cause of death was asphyxiation.
Mr Bedford said Mr Callam had taken his own life, while suffering from depression.