Husband ‘with heart of gold’ found dead at home in Portishead

PUBLISHED: 16:03 16 May 2017

Stephen Chapman's inquest was held at Avon Coroners' Court in Flax Bourton.

Stephen Chapman's inquest was held at Avon Coroners' Court in Flax Bourton.

Archant

The family of a man who took his own life have paid tribute to an ‘amazing, talented and intelligent man’ who was ‘tortured by his brain’.

Stephen Chapman, from Portishead, was found hanged at home on February 9 and an inquest was held at Avon Coroner’s Court, in Flax Bourton, today (Tuesday).

Mr Chapman locked his family out of the house and once his body was found, police also discovered notes expressing his love for his family and detailing funeral arrangements.

The court heard the 53-year-old battled anxiety for many years and suffered suicidal thoughts.

His wife Tina and son Joe told the inquest: “Stephen’s moods in the days leading up to his death were up and down. They fluctuated between moments of manic behaviour to childlike crying.

“The root cause was not being able to provide for his family as a result of being absent from work for many months.

“In January his sick pay ended and he went onto statutory benefits. His income was severely reduced which caused him major distress when he received his pay slip in January.”

His family said he was worried about being made redundant and attended a meeting three days before his death to discuss making a phased return to work.

But he came back ‘terribly distressed’ and felt he was unable to return to work as stress was a significant contributor to his mental fragility.

Mr Chapman, who worked as a plant operator, had received support from the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust since September.

A report by Dr Ramesh Marudanayagam stated Mr Chapman suffered from a mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, an obsessive compulsive personality and adjustment disorder.

Mr Chapman became worried about potential side effects and was hospitalised in January after he stopped taking them.

Assistant coroner Myfanwy Buckeridge, concluded the cause of Mr Chapman’s death was suicide.

Mrs Chapman said after the inquest: “He was an amazing, talented, intelligent man with a heart of gold and everybody loved him, but behind the scenes he was tortured by his brain all his life.

“He loved his family, they were everything to him.”

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