Carter, Albert

Carter, Albert             1918 January 18th

After Ill-Health and Depression

The City Coroner (Mr A M Wilson) held an inquest at the Council Chamber on Friday afternoon in connection with the death of Albert James Carter, a labourer employed by the Salisbury Corporation, which occurred under tragic circumstances at a early hour of the same day.

Mary Elizabeth Carter, of 81, Milford Street, said her husband was 52 years of age. For the last three or four months he had not been able to sleep, and during Thursday he was in and out of bed all night. When she asked him to get into bed he said, “It is no use, I can’t sleep.” At that time it was about a quarter to five on Friday morning, and she suggested that he should go downstairs and light the fire. She then dozed off and did not hear him go out of the room. Shortly afterwards she heard a noise which sounded like a fall, and she rushed downstairs and found her husband sitting on the floor with his back against the dresser and his feet towards the stairs. He had a razor in his right hand and she saw a deep cut across his throat. She knocked on the wall, and in response, Mr Isaacs, the next door neighbour, came in. Witness added that her husband had been in a very bad state of health and for the last twelve months had been attended by Dr Ward for a nervous breakdown and heart trouble. Only a short time ago the doctor told him he could not do anything more for him. Her husband had never threatened to take his life, and always hated to hear about such things. Some seven years ago he had a bad bicycle accident, and suffered with his head ever since.

Walter Isaacs, carman, of 77, Milford Street, said he was awakened early that morning by a knocking and a voice saying, “Come down, Mr Isaacs, my husband has cut his throat.” On going into the kitchen of the house he found Carter with his throat cut and a razor in his right hand. He immediately gave information to the police.

Answering the Foreman, witness said he had noticed that Carter had been very depressed during the last three weeks. Just before Christmas he said “Goodbye” to witness’ daughter and started crying, saying that he would never see her any more. He had never heard him threaten to take his life.

PC Tucker deposed to receiving information of the affair whilst on duty at the police station and going to the house with PC Colborne. He said they found Carter fully dressed with the exception of his boots, with a deep set wound in his throat.

Dr J Armitage described the injury. It was a large gash across the throat, the wind pipe was cut, also one of the large blood vessels of the neck. In his opinion there was no doubt that the wound was self inflicted and caused the man’s death.

A verdict of “Suicide whilst of unsound mind” was returned.

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