21 April 2010
Chard & Ilminster News
A CORONER issued a grave warning about the dangers of cannabis at an inquest into the death of a young Ilminster man.
Ryan Peter Quinney, 29, a former student of Holyrood Community School in Chard, jumped to his death from an overbridge on the A358 at Donyatt on February 9 this year, an inquest in Taunton last week was told.
Mr Quinney, of Lower Horton, had been battling with paranoia and psychological problems, which his mother Louise believed were brought on by cannabis use.
She said she first noticed problems with her son while he was in the third year of his economics degree at the University of Hertfordshire.
She said: “I wasn’t aware of cannabis use but that summer he was very stressed and anxious. I think the course was quite tough and I got the impression he smoked it to get rid of stress and anxiety.”
The inquest heard Mr Quinney visited psychiatrists regularly but seemed fine on the day of his death until “something snapped”, according to West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose.
Mr Rose said: “This is a very tragic story. He was an intelligent, likeable young man who went to university, and I suspect it was there that he came into contact with cannabis.
“Cannabis is a dangerous drug and is harming more and more people. It is as dangerous as hard drugs.
“I think the psychiatrists did all they could to help his condition. He was a young man and if he had been through rehab he may have kicked his habit.”
Mr Rose also called on the Government to increase the height of barriers on road bridges. He added: “My experience is that high barriers can reduce suicides but more importantly prevent serious accidents on the road below.