AN information technology consultant suffering terminal cancer killed himself by taking an overdose, an inquest heard.

John Evans, of Long Hanborough, died on April 27 after being admitted to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Consultant Dr Rustam Rea told Oxford Coroner's Court yesterday Mr Evans had taken an overdose the day before – 84 paracetamol and codeine tablets.

The inquest heard that 57-year-old Mr Evans, a campaigner for Hands Off Hanborough, which opposed a new homes development in the village, had been receiving treatment at the Churchill in the days leading up to his death.

On the evening of April 26 he left the hospital without informing staff and then returned home before taking the overdose.

When the alarm was raised, police and paramedics who called at his home in Millwood Vale found him collapsed and took him to hospital, the inquest was told.

Consultant medical oncologist Dr Andrew Protheroe told the hearing in a statement that Mr Evans had talked previously about ending his life "in a very matter of fact way".

Specialist registrar Dr Faisal Chaudry said in his cause of death report that Mr Evans died as a result of the overdose, with his cancer an underlying cause.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said he believed Mr Evans, a former IT consultant for Oxford City Council, had decided to take his own life.

He added: "He had endured an awful time with an unrelenting cancer and was near the end of his life with no further treatment options open to him."

Mr Salter told the court the alarm was raised about Mr Evans leaving the Churchill Hospital 90 minutes after he was last seen by his nurse.

Mr Evans was a voluntary patient who was allowed to move around the hospital.

The coroner said the hospital afterwards conducted a 'route cause assessment' but concluded that a psychiatric assessment would not have changed the outcome.

He recorded a suicide verdict.

Following the inquest Mr Evans brother Richard Evans, 55, from Wrexham, said: "John fought terrifically well for Hanborough and against the cancer he suffered.

"He was well known following his time at the council and will be sadly missed by all."

Mr Evans added that his brother was separated from his partner.