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Homeless man Janos Bakonyi cut his own throat in Newmarket before refusing help from paramedics, inquest hears



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A detective described the injuries suffered by a homeless man who cut his own throat in Newmarket as some of the worst he'd ever seen, an inquest in Ipswich heard today.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Kent was giving evidence at a hearing into the death of Hungarian national, Janos Bakonyi, who died in full view of horrified onlookers in the town's Old Station Road after slashing his neck with a broken bottle in August last year.

Three times the 47 year old ran away from paramedics desperately trying to help him.

Police closed Old Station Road in Newmarket last August
Police closed Old Station Road in Newmarket last August

"His injuries were catastrophic and some of the worst I have ever come across," said Mr Kent, who told the hearing that when he arrived at the scene, Mr Bakonyi was lying under a blanket in the road. "I spoke to paramedics who said he had not been violent or aggressive but had run away from them when they tried to help him."

He said that a Suffolk Search and Rescue cadaver dog, trained to detect human remains, had later been used to find out where Mr Bakonyi had been before he had been spotted by a member of the public injured on Newmarket heath.

Using a piece of his clothing the dog followed his scent to the plantation at the top of Warren Hill where a search of the woods revealed a bag containing his belongings and part of a broken bottle with his blood on it.

A detective described Mr Bakonyi's injuries as some of the worst he'd ever seen
A detective described Mr Bakonyi's injuries as some of the worst he'd ever seen

Eye witness Dominic Edge-Bouvair told the hearing how he had seen Mr Bakonyi stripped to the waist and walking as if he was drunk or distressed. He said stopped his car and went over to him. It was then he became aware of the extent of his injury.

After calling an ambulance, Mr Edge-Bouvair said he tried to persuade Mr Bakonyi to stop and sit down. "No-one in their right mind would have continued to carry on walking with those injuries," he said.

He told the hearing that when paramedics had tried to help him he had run off and ended up having to be restrained so they could try and save his life.

The inquest was told that Mr Bakonyi had abused both drink and drugs and had engaged with mental health teams at West Suffolk Hospital at least three times in the month before his death.

Horrified onlookers watched as Mr Bakonyi refused help from paramedics
Horrified onlookers watched as Mr Bakonyi refused help from paramedics

He had accepted that he needed to stop drinking and drug taking but was found to have no identifiable acute mental illness. He had told hospital staff 'it was his destiny to die'.

Paramedic Adrian Penfold-Ivany told the hearing of the horrific scene as he and his colleagues tried desperately to save Mr Bakonyi but that he had damaged his throat so badly they could not intubate him. "I have never in my 16 year career seen anything like it before," he said.

Consultant pathologist Dr Karl Love told the hearing toxicology tests had shown no alcohol or drugs present in Mr Bakonyi's blood at the time of his death. He said the fatal injury was consistent with being caused by a broken bottle.

The road was closed for hours while investigations were carried out
The road was closed for hours while investigations were carried out

Catherine Wood, assistant coroner for Suffolk, said Mr Bakonyi had worked in the racing industry in Newmarket but had lost his job at some point earlier last year.

"He acknowledged he had problems with drugs and alcohol and had hallucinations," she said.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Mrs Wood said: "I have sufficient evidence that Mr Bakonyi took his own life and that he intended to as he refused help."

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time or click here to visit the website.

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

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