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Cowes chemical incident death declared as suicide by Isle of Wight coroner

The scene of the chemical incident in April 2016 at St Mary's Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Picture by Debs Allan.

The scene of the chemical incident in April 2016 at St Mary's Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Picture by Debs Allan.

James Woolven

[email protected]

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 16:52

THE DEATH of a man during a mysterious chemical incident in Cowes in April 2016 was the subject of an inquest today (Thursday) where the coroner concluded the man had committed suicide.
Glenn Davies, 21, of St Mary's Road, Cowes, was a highly intelligent man with an IQ of 161 and a history of depression and suicide attempts, the inquest heard.
He had tried to take his own life in 2011 by ingesting poisonous seeds and nuts. In 2012, he tried to hang himself.
Giving evidence in Isle of Wight Coroner's Court, Glenn's father, Andrew Davies, said his son had told him many times that he intended to kill himself.
"Our family lived on a knife edge for years," Mr Davies said.
"He told me, 'I will not live to 30, you need to get used to that now, you will out live me'.
"He yearned for someone to give him an intellectual reason to carry on living and didn't want to hear anything emotional."
Glenn Davies was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and was classified as a genius, the inquest heard.
He excelled in every subject he turned his hand to and was accepted into Oxford University, but dropped out when he could not change courses.
When he was at school, he completed more subjects than the school offered, self teaching and enrolling himself on an evening course at a college.
He taught himself to play the piano and reached grade eight, despite the fact the family did not have a piano at home.
On the day he killed himself, he had lost a lot of money through trading stocks and shares online and his father told the inquest that this was the catalyst that led him to commit suicide.
Family members found him in his room, unresponsive, with no pulse and called emergency services.
Paramedics arrived and took over CPR.
A spokesperson for Isle of Wight Ambulance Service said that the paramedics and family in the room started coughing and there was a metallic taste in the air.
It was decided that Glenn Davies could not be saved and the house was evacuated. The paramedics and some family members were admitted to hospital and a chemical incident was declared.
Pots, mugs and bottles were retrieved from the scene containing a paste-like residue, which was later identified as the substance which had killed him.
The incident became an issue of international significance as police locally liaised with the US Department of Homeland Security as part of an operation to tackle the supply network of this substance, which is thought to have originated in either China or Mexico.
Recording death by suicide, Isle of Wight Coroner Caroline Sumeray said: "Glenn Davies was an exceptionally intelligent young man. He was gifted academically and blessed with great talents, but he had some real difficulties in his life."

 


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