Suicide by eating yew tree leaves

The Mirror, UK/October 16, 2005
By Geoffrey Lakeman

A cult member poisoned himself by eating deadly yew tree leaves, an inquest heard yesterday.

Stephen Davidson, 35, died alone in isolated woods near his home.

He was found face down by a passer-by near a pile of the leaves, healing crystals and pebbles.

His tent was painted with graphic occult images, many of them sexual.

Davidson feared jail on a voyeurism charge and had gone missing before his court appearance, it was said.

He had become depressed and told friends he wanted to kill himself in the woods he believed were the centre of the mythical Glastonbury Zodiac.

East Somerset coroner Tony Williams, recording a suicide verdict, said: "I've heard no evidence that Stephen didn't voluntarily choose to ingest those leaves."

Davidson, of Glastonbury, Somerset, turned into a "loner" after joining the spiritualist Barry Long Foundation, his brother Edward told the court.

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