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Norwich man dies after planning move to Australia

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 February 2011 | UPDATED: 11:17 08 February 2011

Archant © 2011

A Norwich man who was planning to start a new life with his brother in Australia killed himself by taking an overdose, an inquest has heard.

Julian Durance, 40, of The Swale, off Bishy Barnebee Way, Bowthorpe, died on October 24 last 
year after taking an overdose of the drug methadone.

Mr Durance was found by his partner Sophie Tasker at about 2pm in the Sprowston home they had shared until days before his death.

Mr Durance had moved out of the property on Wilks Farm Drive, off North Walsham Road, after Miss Tasker had decided they needed a temporary break from their two-and-a-half-year relationship, although they had kept in regular contact.

It was during this time that Mr Durance had decided to join his brother in Australia, who had 
been living there for 14 years.

His mother Kristabel Durance described Julian as “kind, caring and always helpful to others”.

She added: “[His brother] told him to come and make a new start there. He told lots of people that was his intention.

“He asked me take him to Peterborough to get his passport and I was going to give him my savings.”

After concerns from Mr Durance’s family on the day he was found, Miss Tasker made her way back to her home and found Mr Durance with an empty bottle of methadone and a note.

She called paramedics who pronounced him dead at the scene.

Mrs Durance added: “It is worse than him dying – not knowing why he died. I don’t understand.” Although Mrs Durance said he had been positive about the move abroad in the days before his death, Miss Tasker said: “He just seemed very tearful and fed-up.”

A post-mortem examination stated Mr Durance had died due to methadone poisoning.

He had never taken methadone before.

Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of “suicide while 
in a disturbed state of mind”.

Mr Armstrong added: “I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the members of the family.

“Julian was a gentle, kind and caring person, who would always be there for others.”

• Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal should contact the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or email jo@samaritans.org

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