Man disturbed by noises died after turning off heating at his home

PUBLISHED: 13:15 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

A SCHIZOPHRENIC man disturbed by noises died from hypothermia after turning off the heating and power to his house. Colin Knight, 58, was found at his home in Sorrell Way, Biggleswade, on January 13 this year. An inquest held at Bedford this week heard th

A SCHIZOPHRENIC man disturbed by noises died from hypothermia after turning off the heating and power to his house.

Colin Knight, 58, was found at his home in Sorrell Way, Biggleswade, on January 13 this year.

An inquest held at Bedford this week heard that Mr Knight, who suffered from schizophrenic psychosis and epilepsy, had not been seen for around a week prior to his death.

His GP had tried to make contact with him and eventually a concerned care worker called the police who forced entry into his house and found his body.

A pathologist found that Mr Knight had died from hypothermia, with hypertensive heart disease as a contributing factor, but was not able to give an exact date for his death.

A scenes of crime officer who examined Mr Knight's house reported that the mains power switch had been turned off.

The officer also found that the thermostat in the house was set to five degrees centigrade, its minimum level, and that the boiler and water supply to the house were switched off.

The immersion heater was set to 45 degrees centigrade, its minimum setting and smoke alarms had been removed from their mounting bases.

Coroner David Morris said: "Noises did disturb him and that would explain why he would turn everything off that beeped or hummed."

Mr Morris added that there was "no direct evidence" that Mr Knight neglected himself.

Recording a verdict of death by misadventure, Mr Morris said: "He undertook a deliberate act but it unexpectedly took a turn for the worse.


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