Wife found husband hanged at home

A BUSINESSMAN locked in “a cycle of alcoholism and depression” was found by his wife hanged in their family home, an inquest heard.David Gallagher was discovered by his wife of 26 years, Anne, hanging from the ceiling of their home in Lorraine Way, Bramford, on January 31.

A BUSINESSMAN locked in “a cycle of alcoholism and depression” was found by his wife hanged in their family home, an inquest heard.

David Gallagher was discovered by his wife of 26 years, Anne, hanging from the ceiling of their home in Lorraine Way, Bramford, on January 31.

It was the second time Mrs Gallagher had found her husband hanging but the first time she managed to cut him down in time to save his life, the hearing heard.

The 56-year-old, who had six children, ran Gallagher Car and Van Rentals, based in Sproughton Road, Ipswich.

The inquest into his death, held yesterday, heard a statement from Mrs Gallagher in which she said her husband had been a drinker ever since she had known him, and it caused health problems.

Then, in August 2003, she asked him to leave the family home because “he was locked in a cycle of alcoholism and depression.”

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Mr Gallagher, who had attempted to hang himself once before - only to be cut down by his wife - moved back in later that year after seeking help for his problems.

But, said Mrs Gallagher, he relapsed on January 30 - six days after he poured all the alcohol in the house down the sink, and fought against “awful withdrawal symptoms”.

The following morning, Mrs Gallagher returned from taking the family dogs for a walk to find her husband hanging from the ceiling by a rope around his neck.

Dr Peter Dean, coroner for Greater Suffolk, told the inquest that subsequent tests showed he had a high level of alcohol in his blood, along with a higher-than-therapeutic dose of anti-depressants.

He added: “There's a very real question about intent. I can only record a verdict of suicide if I'm convinced beyond doubt that the deceased both understood and appreciated the consequences of his actions.

“Given that there are still some question marks which remain about his exact state of mind, then I must record an open verdict.”

Mr Gallagher, a founder member of the Disability Care Enterprise, also founded the Ipswich Town box holders association.

At the time of his death, ITFC chairman David Sheepshanks said the news was “utterly tragic.”

He added: “I knew him as a delightful guy, a dedicated family man, a successful businessman and a passionate Ipswich Town fan, who invested in the club through both his support and sponsorship.

“He accompanied us on various European and away trips. He will be sorely missed.”

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