A SUCCESSFUL businessman took his own life after he was treated with anti-depressants and other drugs for anxiety and insomnia.

At an inquest into the death of Silsden-based Ghd founder Martin Penny, 63, his family described their concerns about how his condition had deteriorated as he was prescribed a number of different drugs.

His sister Barbara Penny told the Harrogate inquest: "He had anxiety all his life. He had never talked about suicide ever until he took those drugs. I have never seen him in that state ever."

Mr Penny's wife Diana discovered her husband hanging in the master bedroom of their home in Denton on June 18 last year.

In written evidence, she said: "Martin was a successful businessman who created ghd with two friends."

Over the years he bought his partners out and took on new partners but was eventually forced out and embarked on a three year court battle which cost the couple millions of pounds, she said. In January 2018 he became worried about their finances.

He was prescribed anti-depressants by a GP - although he only took two because he was concerned about their effects. He was later prescribed an alternative antidepressant as well as other medication by a private psychiatrist.

His condition deteriorated and in March he was admitted to hospital after becoming "manic".

He underwent a number of tests and was treated with anti-viral drugs and antibiotics as well as anti-psychotic drugs. His discharge notes said he had serotonin syndrome - a rare condition which may be brought on by the use of medicines that increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

The inquest heard he was greatly improved and a "changed man" after his treatment in hospital. He later went on holiday to France where he slept well and returned to his usual self.

But Mrs Penny said he told her on June 17 that he had tried to hang himself. He later went for a walk and tried to drown himself. On the morning of June 18 she found him hanging in their bedroom.

Dr Mark French, from Ilkley Moor medical practice, told the inquest an anti-depressant was prescribed for anxiety after Mr Penny visited the surgery. It is believed Mr Penny only took two tablets before deciding to stop the medication. He was later prescribed another anti-depressant as well as other medication by private consultant psychiatrist Dr John Nehaul.

Dr Nehaul told the inquest Mr Penny had scored 21 put of 21 on an anxiety scale and 20 out of 21 on a scale measuring depression.

He said: "He was very worried that he was going to go bankrupt because there were problems with a property he had bought. He felt he had made mistakes buying that property."

He said Mr Penny told him he had thought about jumping off Malham Cove but his love for his family had stopped him.

Mrs Penny told the inquest she was concerned that mood altering drugs had been prescribed that could influence her husband's relationship with his family.

"I felt that I was not adequately prepared for the effect of these drugs," she said. "I was not counselled what to look for and how to react."

Mrs Penny also claimed she was not warned that her husband could go into a period of depressive decline after leaving hospital. She said she was told to call 999 if he became acutely ill.

Coroner Rob Turnbull recorded a verdict of suicide.

He said: "It is of note that when he was in France and not on any medication he seemed to be doing extremely well."

Describing the period after Mr Penny's release from hospital he said: "I think it is fair to say that Mrs Penny felt very isolated at that time, not knowing where to turn for assistance."

He said Mrs Penny had raised the issue of whether medication had played a part in her husband's death - but that according to medical evidence there was no way of testing in advance to see what effect a particular drug might have on an individual.

He said he shared her concerns about the medication but added: "They may have had an effect but we cannot say that they did."