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Diabetes sufferer, 34, took his own life during first lockdown, inquest hears

Diabetes sufferer, 34, killed himself because he ‘could not bear the thought’ of being unable to leave home due to Covid shielding, inquest hears

  • Daniel Furniss, 34, lived by himself at his home in Waterlooville, Hampshire
  • He was found dead on March 27, after the country was ordered to stay at home
  • Mental health worsened after Personal Independence Payment benefit stopped  
  • Sister Chelsea said better guidance should be given to mental health patients
  • For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details 

A man whose diabetes made him particularly vulnerable to coronavirus took his own life during the first lockdown because he ‘could not bear the thought of living on his own’, an inquest has heard.  

Daniel Furniss, 34, who lived by himself in Waterlooville, Hampshire, was found dead at his home on March 27, a few days after the country was ordered to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

An inquest at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard that the 34-year-old’s mental health worsened after his Personal Independence Payment benefit had been stopped and because of the lockdown rules.

The hearing was told that Mr Furniss, who also had depression, had also been bullied over his sexuality and had struggled with the death of his former partner four years previously.

Daniel Furniss, 34, who lived by himself in Waterlooville, Hampshire, took his own life during the first coronavirus lockdown, an inquest has heard

His mother, Anita Harper-Sterling, said: ‘He couldn’t bear the thought of living on his own.

‘He hadn’t been sleeping well, he was worried about the Covid.’ 

Giving a verdict of suicide, coroner Jason Pegg said: ‘He was a colourful man, a sociable man and a very much loved man.

‘In February/March, Dan had one of his key benefits stopped, that did not assist his situation and added to his troubles.

‘In March, Covid-19 raised its head within this country and indeed globally and the evidence I have heard is that Dan knew that he was going to struggle having to go into lockdown.

‘He could not bear the thought of staying in and despite the offers made by a very supportive family, Dan wanted to stay living in the place he had made his home.’

Following his death, Mr Furniss’s sister, Chelsea, said better guidance should have been given to those with mental health problems who needed to self-isolate.

She said: ‘Dan had a long history of mental health issues and one of the things he struggled with was being on his own.

‘He lived on his own but would go out every day. Dan had diabetes and was classed as a high-risk person so after lockdown he was unable to go out which we think pushed him over the edge.

‘We were concerned about him being in isolation and stayed in touch but were not able to see him. We tried our best and let him know we were there for him.

‘More could be done to help people who are struggling while self-isolating. Hopefully what’s happened with Dan can raise awareness of these issues.’

Sister Chelsea (left) has said that better guidance should be given to those with mental health problems who need to self-isolate

Sister Chelsea (left) has said that better guidance should be given to those with mental health problems who need to self-isolate

In April, Ms Furniss described how her brother ‘bought a lot of joy to everyone’s lives’ and was ‘a big kid at heart’.

Fondly remembering her brother she said: ‘He would always dress very bright and colourful – you couldn’t miss him.

‘Dan brought a lot of joy to everyone’s lives. Although he was aged 34 he was just a big kid at heart.’

Speaking at the time she also said her family was ‘completely overwhelmed and touched by people’s generosity especially at a time of such difficulty’ after a GoFundMe raised nearly £2,000 for her brother’s funeral.

‘I wasn’t expecting that reaction at all, especially as I know everyone else is having such struggles and difficulties at the moment,’ she added. 

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk