Vet found dead near Fordingbridge had endured years of health problems

First published in New Forest News

A VET took his own life after enduring years of health problems, an inquest heard.

John Lafferty, 61, was found dead by members of the public in a wooded area at the Broomy Enclosure, in Fordingbridge.

A note was found in his car, which he had parked nearby.

The inquest was told that police had initially treated Mr Lafferty's death as suspicious when they attended the scene at 1pm on December 15 last year.

But they then discovered the car with an an envelope addressed to Pamela on the back seat.

The note told of his love for his family and made it clear what he intended to do.

Mr Lafferty, of Stony Lane, Christchurch, who worked at the Magnolia House Veterinary Clinic in Christchurch for 34 years, died from blood loss from cuts to his wrists.

The inquest heard Mr Lafferty had longstanding health problems.

Prior to his death, he had spent a significant amount of time in hospital and had suffered for many years from a condition affecting his oesophagus, due to which he had undergone several operations.

His family told police that he had previously expressed feelings of not wanting to go on living due to his health problems.

Toxicology reports revealed Mr Lafferty had not consumed alcohol and although he had a number of different medications in his system, they were at therapeutic levels.

Southampton coroner Keith Wiseman said: “His medical history was really horrifically difficult for someone of his age - he must have worked through many years of ill health.

“He clearly felt it was too much to keep up.”

He recorded a verdict that Mr Lafferty took his own life.

At the time of his death, Mrs Lafferty said he had “bravely borne” his long illness and was a loving husband, devoted father to Andrew, Mark, Rory and Becky and a doting grandfather to Flick.

She added: "He will be sadly missed by his friends, staff and clients.

“His wishes were that his practice should continue, as always, with the love and dedication that he showed to all of the animals under his care for the last 34 years".

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