A scientist at Cardiff University reportedly killed himself using a cyanide-like poison from the laboratory he worked in.

The Incident

Peter Tomasec a 47-year-old scientist at Cardiff University, who was reportedly suffering from winter seasonal depression, killed himself with a lethal dose of a cyanide-like substance from the lab he worked in. Tomasec was found dead by his husband Lee Chong in their home back in March.

Tomasec has reportedly made frequent visits to his GP starting last August. He received a prescription of anti-depressants and was put in touch with a psychiatrist. Tomasec was also reportedly diagnosed with “autism spectrum disorder.”

Comments On His Death

Chong issued a statement, saying: “He told me about his depression and said it was seasonal. Peter and I went to speak to his GP and asked for help.”

“The GP referred him to a psychiatrist. He had two sessions and he said they were very cold to him. I feel that Peter was desperately asking for professional help and he was dismissed.”

Dan Hopkins, the pathologist that carried out Tomasec’s autopsy said that they found the cyanide-like substance in his stomach. He said that Tomasec was working on the HCMV, known to cause congenital abnormalities.

According to his statement: “His confidence grew and he made a series of significant findings. Peter was very selfless in his attitude and he was extremely well respected with his work.”

“I was not aware [the chemical] could be used as a poison. If he did order [it] it would not have been flagged up.”

Philip Spinney, the Coroner, concluded that it was a suicide. “It is plain to me that Peter intended to take his life. He had prepared to do that and he had left notes indicating what his intention was.”

Similar Incidents

In May 2015, David Shingler, a 54-year-old scientist from the company Lucideon also killed himself by ingesting a highly toxic substance. The substance was reportedly so deadly that pathologists refused to perform an autopsy on him, because it would have been too dangerous.

Paramedics discovered Shingler in his car and tried to revive him, but failed.

A spokesperson for the Staffordshire police had said: He added: “Officers were on site together with colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and University Hospitals of North Midlands following the sudden death of a man. The mortuary was closed to allow fire officers to carry out tests. Emergency services staff who attended the sudden death, and mortuary staff, were checked over as a precaution. The hospital remained open as normal.”


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