Man takes his own life after facing pressure of a looming crown court trial, inquest hears

Andy Lee

Andy Lee - Credit: Archant

A 64 year old man took his own life when the pressure of facing conspiracy to supply class A drugs charges became too much for him to handle, an inquest heard.

Andy Lee with medical equipment collected for Romanian orphanages

Andy Lee with medical equipment collected for Romanian orphanages - Credit: Archant

Andy Lee was on tag on bail when he told his legal team that he was worried about the prospect and costs of a possible eight week crown court case travelling daily to London.

He was unhappy about becoming embroiled in criminal offences and intended to plead not guilty, the inquest heard.

On August 22 he met with his solicitors and told them he was anxious about the case and travel costs. On September 6 his body was found in the River Nene near Wisbech police station.

An inquest heard that his legal team had no clue that he intended to harm himself and it seemed like the normal fears of a man facing a trial.


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Coroner William Morris said: “I do not know how he entered the water or when but the evidence is very clear that he took his own life.”

Two notes to his family were found at his home at Ramnoth Road, Wisbech, after his body was discovered.

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One said he was sorry but he “couldn’t take no more.”

A second note said he couldn’t see how he could afford to get to London and back daily for eight weeks. “There’s no way for me to avoid this,” he wrote.

The inquest heard that Lee was among ten defendants who were facing drugs charges, after being arrested in North Yorkshire.

He was arrested in May last year, bailed and put on tag. In June his curfew was relaxed to attend the wedding of his son.

As summer progressed he had various meetings with his legal team in preparation for a trial which was planned for either Blackfriar’s or Snaresbrook.

In the end it was heard in Cambridge Crown Court just before Christmas.

Coroner Mr Morris said that Mr Lee had a history of depression.

In 2010 Mr Lee took an overdose of 120 morphine tablets and spent three months in a psychiatric unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn.

In November 2013 he spent two weeks in a psychiatric ward but was discharged when they felt he was no longer at risk of self harm.

There was zopiclone sleeping pills, pain relief medication and alcohol found in his system but the inquest heard that it was not possible to tell if it had been taken in excessive amounts or how long it had been consumed before taking his life.

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