Tributes paid to ‘lovely’ man

This Is Wiltshire: Flowers are laid at a shrine to Dave Coutts who died last week at Culvery Court. From left, Gary Allbright, Cai Larkins, Ann McCrae and  Lyn Cuss Flowers are laid at a shrine to Dave Coutts who died last week at Culvery Court. From left, Gary Allbright, Cai Larkins, Ann McCrae and Lyn Cuss

THE suicide of a homeless man who was well-loved by many has devastated staff and residents at Culvery Court.

Dave Coutts spent a difficult childhood in and out of foster homes and children’s homes.

On the night of Monday, June21, the 43-year-old Mancunian – who was an infrequent drug user – said a heartfelt thank you to nightworkers and goodnight to his friends, locked his door and took a heroin overdose.

Lyn Cuss, a team leader at Culvery Court, knew Dave since he first approached the shelter in 2006 and developed a close bond of trust with him.

She said: “He was a real character. But he was the one everyone went to, he looked after everyone.

“He was always busy, checking that the people he knew who were sleeping rough had made it through the night, checking up on people.

“He was lovely. If he ever saw you carrying anything heavy he would rush over and pick it up and carry it for you.”

Dave had tried to kill himself only a month previously, around the same time of the anniversary of the death of his younger brother Simon and his son Sam.

He had been inconsolable in the evening, but by the time workers were able to get through to the emergency mental health team, he had become calm.

Lyn said: “He was so inconsolable the night workers called me to come in.Later that evening he went out for a walk with his friends, and when he went to bed he locked his door.

“He never locked his door. It was always open for his friends to come and go as they pleased.

“He had always said that if he was going to go, that was how he would do it. And it was peaceful.

“He put his pyjamas on, he put his slippers on. He wasn’t on a park bench.”

Babs Harris, business manager at Threshold, which manages Culvery Court, said the news had cast a cloud over the community with both staff and residents mourning Dave’s death.

She said: “Everyone here is absolutely devastated. He endured so much suffering in his life.

“That’s why we want to hold a memorial service to him, so people have the opportunity to come along and say goodbye.”

A memorial service will be held at Culvery Court today from 10am. All are welcome to attend.

Comments (2)

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11:13am Fri 4 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Poor bloke. So sad when people get into a rut and have no escape. Rip
Poor bloke. So sad when people get into a rut and have no escape. Rip Davey Gravey
  • Score: 14

9:35pm Wed 9 Jul 14

underdogs says...

As a long term service user of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health services, it comes as no surprise to me that so many people are dying whilst supposedly under their duty of care - AWP are an absolute disgrace with the exception of 1-2 good frontline staff - but its like winning the lottery if you are lucky enough to speak with them - usually you either get no one answering the phone, not ringing back for many hours or not at all , or when you do speak with them they are dismissive and simply dont care .
As a long term service user of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health services, it comes as no surprise to me that so many people are dying whilst supposedly under their duty of care - AWP are an absolute disgrace with the exception of 1-2 good frontline staff - but its like winning the lottery if you are lucky enough to speak with them - usually you either get no one answering the phone, not ringing back for many hours or not at all , or when you do speak with them they are dismissive and simply dont care . underdogs
  • Score: 0
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