Anger at hospital as dad is found hanged

Frank Postle
Frank Postle

A grieving son claims his dad should have been on ‘suicide watch’ at a Doncaster hospital after making two attempts on his life when his wife left him following a secret internet romance.

Depressed Frank Postle, aged 47, was detained at St Catherine’s Hospital after the second suicide bid.

But despite telling his son, Craig, he would try again, he was able to use his bedsheet to hang himself in his room.

Craig told a Doncaster inquest he passed on his fears about his father to staff on the Brodsworth ward at St Catherine’s but was told his psychiatrist was too busy to see him.

On the first day of a three-day hearing, a nurse admitted procedures to discuss the patient’s case with family members were not followed and Craig should have been consulted.

Mr Postle died from hanging on February 11, 2010, after staff found him suspended in his room.

He had previously told his son he had tested the bedsheet to see if it was strong enough to hold his weight.

The warehouseman, who lived in Doncaster Road, Armthorpe, became quickly and severely depressed after Karen, his wife of 24 years, left him for a man she had met on the internet four weeks earlier, taking their daughter with her.

The inquest was told Mr Postle was also £50,000 in debt at the time and he believed he had been unwittingly paying for her to enjoy weekends away with her lover.

In January 2010 he was admitted to the DRI after shooting himself twice in the chest with a nailgun - and while being transferred to St Catherine’s he leapt out of the moving taxi.

In evidence, Craig said: “At the beginning of February he told me, word for word, how he was going to ‘do it’ as he referred to it.

“I believed that he planned to do it, because when my father said he would do something, he did it.

“I told staff what he’d told me. They told me they’d seen cases like my father’s a thousand times before and not to worry.”

Mr Postle was allowed weekend home leave but was taken back in by police after he bought another nailgun. He said he heard the voices of his wife and her lover ‘saying he’d be better off dead’ and was upset his daughter would not take his telephone calls.

“He couldn’t get the picture of the two of them out of his head,” said Craig. “He said, ‘it’s going to happen’. My concerns were that he wasn’t on 24-hour suicide watch, and I still stand by that to this day.”

Nurse Andrew Holling said he did not know why family consultation procedures weren’t followed. The inquest continues today.