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Extract from Northampton Mercury Publication date: Friday 03 May 1901



Mr J T Parker, Divisional Coroner, held an inquest at the Horse and Groom Inn, Burton Latimer, on Wednesday evening, touching the death of Thomas Oliver Dicks, who was found with his throat cut in a field in that parish that morning.

Mr E James was foreman of the jury and the following evidence was adduced: -

Ann Dicks, widow, of Burton Latimer, identified the body as that of her son, who was 33 years of age. Deceased was a general labourer and resided with witness, being a single man. Witness saw deceased about a quarter to twelve that morning, when he left the house. He took a razor out of a cupboard before he left the house. Witness followed deceased up the garden and asked him to return the razor, but deceased refused and told witness to go indoors. Witness watched deceased go across some fields in the direction of a spinney, and he tied his handkerchief on the rails. Witness called to a neighbour that she feared her son had cut his throat. Witness and the neighbour went towards the spot where she had last seen deceased. Her neighbour suddenly held up her hands, and witness, fearing the worst, returned home. A gardener named Neale came up and told witness that her son was dead. He had been complaining of his head for some time, and had been medically attended. He went to bed at 10.15, got up about eleven, and returned again at midnight. He again got up at two am, and slept in a chair downstairs until he went out at 11.45. Deceased had previously attempted to commit suicide about 18 months ago. There had been no bother at home. Deceased had not threatened to commit suicide, but witness was suspicious on account of deceased taking the razor with him.

William Neale, gardener, Burton Latimer, stated that just before midday on Wednesday, from a communication made to him, he went to the spinney, and found deceased lying just inside the railings. He was lying face downwards, and, on moving his head, deceased breathed once or twice and then expired. His throat was cut, and the razor was lying beside his right hand.

Mr H N Crowley Atkinson, physician, Burton Latimer, stated that he was called to deceased on Monday night. Deceased told witness that he had delirium tremens, but that was not altogether true. Deceased said he had been drinking very heavily for a fortnight, and had had little food. Deceased had the symptoms of delirium tremens coming on, and witness ordered a watch to be kept on him. On the previous night deceased said he felt very much better, but at witness's suggestion he went back to bed and promised to drink no beer. Witness had heard that after his visit deceased drank three pints of beer. He was fetched to the rookery about midday on Wednesday and found deceased quite dead, with a deep wound on the left side of the throat, severing the carotid artery.

The jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst temporarily insane.”
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