St Neots man who was shot dead by police had ‘sought help for mental health issues’

The shooting took place in Duck Lane, St Neots.

The shooting took place in Duck Lane, St Neots. - Credit: Archant

Richard Davies was being treated for a suspected personality disorder, an inquest into his death has heard.

Mr Davies, of Duck Lane, in St Neots, was shot by a police firearms officer, on October 21, 2015, after his three children made desperate 999 calls saying he had tied them up and covered their mouths with duct tape.

Armed police response units surrounded the house and an officer, referred to at hearing as I7, fired the fatal shot to the upper left part of Mr Davies’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

All three children, who are being referred to as Child A, B and C during the hearing at Peterborough Town Hall, had already escaped from the house after jumping from upstairs windows.

The inquest has heard that in the weeks leading up to his death, Mr Davies sought help from his GP, at the Almond Road Surgery, in St Neots. He was being referred for treatment after a consultation with mental health nurse Deborah Mason.

Giving evidence, Mrs Mason said he told her he had been having violent thoughts about a work colleague who he resented because he was always “messing around” in the workshop and then allowed to have overtime.

He also told Mrs Mason that he believed he was “borderline alcoholic”.

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The inquest heard Mr Davies was taking anti-depressant medication and the dose was increased in the days preceding his death. He also admitted to having financial worries.

On the first day of the hearing, which is expected to last for two weeks, Mr Davies’s mother Gillian, also gave evidence and in a statement she admitted she knew her son had obtained a gun. In the statement read out to the jury, she said Mr Davies had always been fascinated by guns and the military. His dream to join the army or air force had been shattered when he developed a lung complaint and she said he “was gutted”.

She said in the summer of 2015 she became aware that he had a home-made gun that had a bad aim.

She went on to reveal that she had spoken to her son two days before his death.

She said: “He was very low and he didn’t seem to care about anything. He said ‘I love you mum’ which wasn’t really like him.”

The inquest heard that Mrs Davies only discovered from a social networking site that there had been an incident in Duck Lane and it wasn’t until the following day that she was told her son had died.

The hearing continues.