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Double tragedy for Great Yarmouth family as father dies months after daughter, 14, fatally hit by bus

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 December 2014

Shannon Goodson, 14, from Great Yarmouth, Picture: submitted

Shannon Goodson, 14, from Great Yarmouth, Picture: submitted

Archant

A family suffered a double tragedy, as a father died of a drugs overdose months after his daughter was fatally struck by a bus.

Great Yarmouth man Paul Goodson was “broken” after the death of his 14-year-old daughter Shannon, who was killed in a Caister road traffic accident on February 22.

The 41-year-old was found unresponsive by his girlfriend on July 9, but had not intended to take his own life, an inquest heard yesterday.

Tonia Tedstone, who had been in a relationship with Mr Goodson, explained that he was deeply affected by the sudden loss of his daughter.

In a written statement, she said: “He had been broken and depressed, so then he had started to drink quite a lot of beer but was not dependent on it.”

The night before his death she cooked dinner at his Milton Road home, where he lived with Shannon’s twin sister Holly and their brother Craig, before they both walked to her home in nearby Beresford Road.

“Paul was not really with it,” she said. “He was acting like he was drunk, and had not had anything to eat.”

Mr Goodson was a “keen bodybuilder” who had previously taken steroids and “speed” - also known as amphetamines - the inquest heard.

Miss Tedstone said her partner went straight to bed at around 11pm, and she followed soon after.

She woke to hear him snoring at 4am, and when she was woken again by her work alarm at 5.20am he was unresponsive.

Paramedics pronounced Mr Goodson dead at the scene, and police found no signs of third party involvement, no suicide note or any sign of drug use.

Miss Tedstone had called Mr Goodson’s mother Patricia to say he’d “gone” - to which she initially thought she meant they had split up.

Dr David Ekbury said Mr Goodson was an “extremely infrequent” visitor to Park Surgery GP practice in Alexandra Road, Great Yarmouth until five days after the “sudden, traumatic death of his daughter in a road traffic accident”.

In a written statement, Dr Ekbury said: “It became evident during the course of the consultation that Mr Goodson had been self-medicating with diazepam bought from the internet.

“I cautioned him this was extremely dangerous and prescribed anti-depressants.”

He had eight further appointments in the months leading to his death, as he struggled to sleep, to manage his grief and to cope with the funeral.

Mr Goodson was offered professional bereavement counselling but declined it, Dr Ekbury said.

A post-mortem examination found no alcohol in Mr Goodson’s system, and gave the medical cause of death as an overdose of opiates.

The effects of morphine may have been exacerbated by the presence of antidepressant drug diazepam at a therapeutic dose, the inquest heard.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake said: “Mr Goodson was clearly very upset over the traumatic death of his daughter, but there is no evidence that he intended to take his own life.”

She concluded that the death was drug-related.

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