THE body of a 28-year-old man was found in a “mummified” state as he lay dead for nine months after worrying about claiming benefits.
Roy Curtis became deeply anxious in September 2018 after he was told his benefits would stop unless he attended a fit-to-work assessment, an inquest heard.
The shy man, who had been diagnosed with mild autism, refused to attend the appointment and told his friends over email that he planned to commit suicide soon after.
Police were informed of Mr. Curtis’ fragile state and, after they discovered a 40-page suicide note, rushed the 28-year-old to A&E.
Mr Curtis was put in a specialist mental health treatment centre to recover.
While in hospital, doctors worked to restore Mr Curtis' benefits payments and ensured they were backdated.
But after Mr Curtis was deemed fit to go home, he was again told that he would need to attend a fit-to-work assessment to receive benefits.
Mr Curtis became increasingly anxious at the news, the Milton Keynes coroner was told.
Dr Romi Babatunde told the inquest he later received a doctor’s note after a visiting to his GP practice excusing him from the appointment due to his fear of open space.
The inquest heard that nobody from the surgery ever contacted him again to check on his condition.
It was only nine months later on August 21, 2019 when Mr Curtis’ landlords broke into his flat with an eviction notice that the 28-year-old’s body was found.
Bailiff Ian Wright discovered Mr Curtis’ body in his bedroom after venturing alone into the flat.
Mr Wright told the Milton Keynes’ inquest he did not see the body at first, but later found Mr Curtis dead in the cupboard.
Mr Wright said: "It was clear and obvious that the male was deceased and I stood and looked at the male for a few seconds before turning around and walking straight out of the address.
"The male had clearly been deceased for some time and it appeared that he had died from suicide by hanging."
Thames Valley Police officers were called to the scene where they found Mr Curtis dead.
A post mortem examination described the body as being in a state of "advanced mummification" after the nine month period, with no blood available for a toxicological examination.
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Police also discovered letters written by Mr Curtis detailing his fear over losing his benefits.
Dr David Marchevsky - who treated the 28-year-old in hospital in the months before his death - described Mr Curtis as “very polite, well-mannered, very pleasant and a likeable person”.
Dr Marchevsky added: "His concerns were nothing to do with medication or psychological treatment, they were more practical things.”
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Dr Marchevesky, who only found out about the benefit agency's new request after Mr Curtis' death, commented: "I did not anticipate that the benefits agency were going to do this, particularly so quickly and I did not know until I learned about his death.
"They were told the reasons why he had been admitted, all that information was given to them.”
Following Mr Curtis' death, a safeguarding adults review had been carried out by multiple agencies in Milton Keynes, including the council which was legally represented at the inquest.
Tom Osborne, senior coroner for Milton Keynes, said: "The review highlights the onus was very much on Roy to self-refer himself if he had problems."
The coroner questioned whether Mr Curtis was "someone who was going to remain high risk, particularly if his rights to benefits were either withdrawn or questioned in the future."
Mr Osborne said: "Rather than go through that process again, he would prefer to die."
Fuad (corr) Habayeb, Mr Curtis' father and a chartered engineer who had lived in Dubai with his son from 2005 to 2009, joined the inquest electonically via Microsoft Teams .
Mr Habayeb blasted his son's GP saying: "You could have saved his life, you could have saved this young man! I hope you can live with your conscience."
After the coroner tried to intervene, Mr Habayeb added: "I am sorry, I cannot be calm just like anyone else. For him [the GP] it is just another day, another guy."
The inquest, expected to last two days, continues.