Man who suffered from chronic pain took his own life, inquest hears

A 46-year-old ex-boy racer who suffered with chronic pain as a result of several whiplash injuries took his own life, an inquest has heard today (Thursday).

Paul David Woods, who needed constant medication to manage the pain, was found unresponsive in the bedroom of the flat he shared with his mother in Gillott Court in St Luke's Road, Maidenhead.

His mother Maureen Woods explained: “Because he had a baby face people though he was a bit of a boy racer, and would often challenge him to race. But he was always careful when I was in the car.”

She added: "I woke up at around 5am on the morning of his death and found him on the floor.

"He was wearing a very expensive dressing gown of mine.

"At least he was wrapped in love."

Police arrived on the scene at 12.24pm, and later confirmed there were no suspicious marks or injuries.

On February 8, three days before his death, Mr Woods had been admitted to Wexham Park Hospital A&E after collapsing at home, where he lay for two days as he was too weak to pick himself back up.

He was discharged on February 9 and A&E notes confirmed a history of spinal injuries and poor mobility. Scans of Mr Woods’ chest and lungs revealed no abnormalities for a smoker for his age, who also suffered from type one diabetes.

While he showed signs of anaemia, he had suffered only superficial abrasions.

His mother described how he had begged her to help him with the pain after returning from his fall, and didn't want to go to bed the night before his death. She said: "He'd had enough, he'd written a suicide note once before, but not this time."

The inquest at Reading Town Hall heard that Mr Woods had been stockpiling his pain relief, and had refused help in the past to wean himself off his medication.

The toxicology report revealed the level of morphine in his blood was extremely high, even for a man with a long history of pain management.

Coroner Peter Bedford concluded that based on the testimony of Ms Woods, and the fact that his ability to overdose was readily available, that it is beyond reasonable doubt to rule death by suicide.

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