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'Alice' illness lorry driver killed himself.

Byline: Sam Malone

A LORRY driver who suffered from a rare brain condition known as Alice in Wonderland syndrome hanged himself, an inquest heard yesterday.

Dean Crompton, 41, had recently been diagnosed with the condition which causes the sufferer to experience visual distortions - meaning objects appear bigger or smaller than usual - when he took his own life earlier this year.

The hearing in Cardiff heard Mr Crompton, of Brundall Crescent, Ely, suffered from depression and was concerned he would be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The court was told Mr Crompton had been receiving comprehensive treatment from his GP after two previous suicide attempts and appeared to be on the road to recovery before he was found hanged at the family home by his son on January 13. He was initially revived and for two days was treated at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, before he died on January 15.

Giving evidence, Martin Bradbury, Mr Crompton's GP, said at times during his consultations the lorry driver appeared very depressed.

"I only ever see people that flat, that unresponsive, staring at the floor, barely talking to you, two or three times a year," he said.

Dr Bradbury said he referred Mr Crompton for assessment by a psychiatrist and occupational therapist. Yet the court heard from both Dr Patrick Briggs and Daniel Crossland, who determined Mr Crompton was not in any need of emergency treatment.

Dr Bradbury added: "He was a man that could pull down the shutters if he didn't want to talk to you and maybe that's what happened on these occasions."

In a statement read out in court, Lisa Crompton, Mr Crompton's widow, said he was also worried about an upcoming court case after he was accused of a breathalyser offence, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, and was concerned about debt problems. Recording a verdict of suicide, Cardiff coroner Mary Hassell said from the evidence it was clear no health practitioner could have prevented Mr Crompton's death in the circumstances presented to them.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 6, 2011
Words:338
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