Retired family doctor died after fall from window

The inquest was held at County Hall in Exeter

The inquest was held at County Hall in Exeter - Credit: Archant

A retired family doctor stabbed himself in the chest before jumping to his death from an upstairs window at his home, an inquest heard.

Dr Mark Beer had been diagnosed with bi polar disorder a decade earlier and in the last few months of his life his mood became low.

His wife Ann, also a retired GP, discovered his lifeless body at their home in Burrington after she returned from a morning walk with their pet dog on September 22 last year.

His widow said he had retired in 2003 because of his mental health issues but in the last couple of years he had come off his medication and seemed better.

Dr Beer’s own GP said in a statement to the inquest at County Hall in Exeter he concluded the 63-year-old was ‘not likely to self-harm’.


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A post mortem concluded he died from multiple injuries including a severe head injury, as well as the small knife wounds to his chest.

Senior Devon coroner Philip Spinney said Dr Beer was a ‘very intelligent and philosophical man’ who had mental health issues which were managed with medication.

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Although the coroner said he was satisfied it was more likely than not that Dr Beer had deliberately taken his life, but the evidence did not support a conclusion of suicide because no one saw him fall and he did not express his intent in the undated notes.

He recorded a narrative conclusion that it was likely he jumped from a window and died as a result of his own actions.

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