A depressed Devon dad who had been struggling with back pain and working from home during lockdown tragically ended his life at his family home.
Thomas Wickens, a 44-year-old repairs administration worker, was found passed away by his wife at their home in Paignton on June 26.
At that time lockdown restrictions had begun to ease, but many workers were still home-based like Mr Wickens had been.
An inquest held in Plymouth today heard the father-of-three had a long history of depression and was in chronic pain in relation to his lower back.
His GP told how Mr Wickens, who was born in Kent, had expressed suicidal thoughts in the past and had been referred for a mental health assessment in April 2018, but had not attended a further assessment .
His last contact with the surgery was a telephone consultation on May 19, 2020, regarding his pain management.
Mr Wickens’ wife Catherine told police that he had been feeling suicidal a year prior to his death, and had been struggling again.
She said: “He has been working from home during lockdown which he has found stressful.”
She recalled how on the day of his death he had been to the pharmacy and they had a heated disagreement on his return for which they both apologised.
She told how they had been planning to view a car the following day. She said that she discovered he had taken his own life after hearing a loud bang.
The cause of his death was confirmed as suspension by ligature.
You can stay up-to-date on the top news near you with DevonLive’s FREE newsletters – find out more about our range of daily and weekly bulletins and sign up here or enter your email address at the top of the page.
Police confirmed there was no suspicion of third party involvement.
Recording a conclusion of suicide, coroner Ian Arrow said: “I sadly come to the conclusion that Thomas has ended his life.”
He added: “I express my condolences to his wife and his children. It is very sad to have heard of this man’s death. It must have been a terrible shock.”
The Samaritans can be reached round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call them on the phone. You can reach them by calling 116 123, by emailing email@example.com or by visiting www.samaritans.org
Local help is also available from Devon-based charity Andy’s Man Club. It has four groups across Devon with a mission to reduce the number of deaths by suicide in men.