Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 12:03 UK

Suicide risk was 'not removable'

David McAdam and wife Barbra, Cathy and husband Paul McAdam arrives at Belfast High Court for the inquest into the death of Steven McAdam
Mr McAdam's family said they wanted to meet the health minister

No action could have been taken to completely remove the suicide risk of a man who drove into a harbour, a coroner has said.

Steven McAdam, 43, of Grandmere Park, Bangor, died after driving his car into the sea at Donaghadee in 2004.

His family had been asked to take him home even though he had been assessed as needing treatment in hospital.

Earlier the inquest heard that no psychiatric beds were available anywhere in Northern Ireland.

Coroner John Leckey said the Department of Health should look at the issue of families being asked to take responsibility for mentally-ill people who have been assessed as needing admission to hospital, and would write to the health minister.

Mr McAdam's sister-in-law, Cathy McAdam, said they held the health service responsible.

"To say to take somebody home and don't leave them alone is totally appalling and totally unacceptable," she said.

Mr McAdam was a former professional footballer who had played for Portadown in the Irish League as well as English league club Burnley, but had become increasingly depressed as ME made him more disabled and reliant on his family.

His relatives said they would seek a meeting with Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.

The coroner ruled that Mr McAdam died by his own act while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

"I am satisfied that no action could have been taken that would have removed completely the risk of Steven taking his own life," he said.

"At best, a risk management plan can only reduce the risk of this happening."

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