Newmarket: Former racehorse trainer ‘took his own life’, inquest told

Newmarkete Races

Newmarkete Races - Credit: Archant

A former Newmarket racehorse trainer was found hanging from the balcony of his flat after two previous attempts to take his own life, an inquest was told.

Police found the body of Michael Quinlan, known as Mick, outside his home in Belmont Court, Newmarket, after the alarm was raised by members of the public.

The inquest in Bury St Edmunds was told that the 61-year-old, who trained 176 races on the Flat and over jumps in Britain and Ireland, had problems with alcohol and had been diagnosed with depression.

A report from Detective Sergeant Andrew Day, which was read to the coroner’s court, said Mr Quinlan’s body was taken down from the first floor balcony and laid on the pavement.

A subsequent police investigation found that there was no suspicious circumstances and described the incident as a “tragic case of suicide.”


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A post mortem, carried out by Dr Sheila Purdey, said the cause of death was hanging.

The inquest was told that Mr Quinlan, who had stepped away from racing and handed over the training to his brother Noel, had previously been treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after taking an overdose.

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At that time alcohol was judged to have been a factor.

Dr Peter Dean, Greater Suffolk Coroner, said Mr Quinlan’s family and his former partner Mary Archdeacon, had given details about some of the difficulties he had suffered.

The inquest was told that Kevin Rowland of the Suffolk Mental Health Trust had said Quinlan – who trained Langs Lash, winner of the 2008 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot – had also tried to hang himself before.

No alcohol or drugs were found in Mr Quinlan’s system at the time of death.

Dr Dean said he believed there was a sense that attempts had been made to offer Mr Quinlan assistance.

But he added: “It is clear from all the evidence he sadly intended the outcome of his actions.”

The coroner recorded a verdict that Mr Quinlan had taken his own life.

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