Family told ‘nothing could have been done’ to prevent South Hampstead man’s suicide

A Samaritans volunteer

A Samaritans volunteer - Credit: Archant

The heartbroken family of a South Hampstead man who killed himself has been told there was “nothing they could have done” to prevent his death.

Franco Papp, 79, of Aberdare Gardens, was found dead on his kitchen floor by his wife on April 10 after overdosing on pills.

An inquest held on Monday heard how Mr Papp, who worked as an import manager, had been diagnosed with chronic depression and was an insomniac.

He also suffered from Grover’s Disease – a skin condition which causes severe itchiness – which may have exacerbated his condition.

During the inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court, his wife, Norma, gave evidence and said her husband had suffered with mental illness since the 1980s, which came in waves but had become more frequent.


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Parts of a note found several days after his death were read out by the deputy coroner, Selena Lynch, which asked his family for forgiveness and to enjoy the rest of their lives without him.

Emergency services arrived at Mr Papp’s home at 7.45am where they found his body on the kitchen floor and a bowl of tablets with jam on the work top.

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Members of his family attended the inquest hearing and praised police for how they dealt with the situation, describing them as the “saving grace” on the day of the tragedy.

A post-mortem found death was due to a mixed drugs overdose.

The inquest also heard evidence from Mr Papp’s GP, Dr Charles Edmond, who said he was physically very fit but had never responded to anti-depressants since being diagnosed in the 1980s.

He said Mr Papp had been offered different therapies for his depression and insomnia but said he always felt “fatalistic” about his depression.

However, the GP said Mr Papp did not express suicidal feelings and his death was a surprise.

Deputy coroner Ms Lynch returned a verdict of suicide while suffering from depression.

Addressing the family, she said: “He wouldn’t have had any concept of the pain he’s left behind.

“So I hope you can forgive him and yourselves when you think there was something we could have done – there wasn’t.”

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