13:09 Friday 16 August 2013

Suicide verdict after Dunmow dad's death in woodland

Written byCOURT REPORTER

A DEPRESSED Dunmow man found dead in secluded woodland committed suicide, an inquest jury ruled.

The verdict came at the end of a three-day hearing this week at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court.

Father-of-two Kevin Peters, 42, of Holly Close, who had been treated for anxiety, was reported missing on September 2 last year after leaving a note for his wife, Holly, saying he had gone for a "long bicycle ride".

He left his wife a second note in which he said she deserved better than him.

The inquest, which began on Tuesday (August 13), was told that he was found the next day in Hoglands Wood, near Dunmow.

Mr Peters's GP, Dr Sara Astbury, first saw him on November 25, 2011 for anxiety, low energy and low motivation.

When asked if he was suicidal, Mr Peters, a postman, replied he would not do anything because of his two children. He was on prescribed medication.

The GP referred him to a consultant psychiatrist in the community mental health team. He was also involved with the 24-hour mental health crisis team, a day care team and therapists.

By April last year, however, he had got worse and said he was feeling suicidal on a daily basis and the only thing stopping him was his children.

Dr Astbury said that by August she was concerned because Mr Peters seemed as if he was "starting to plan". She said she immediately referred him to the crisis team.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Catherine Leek told the inquest that in December 2011 Mr Peters was significantly depressed and anxious.

He was stressed particularly because his job had moved to Braintree and he thought the family's move eight months before might have been a mistake.

She said he thought his problems could be solved by medication and was frustrated there was no "magic pill".

In May last year, Mr Peters went to a hospital's accident and emergency unit with suicidal intentions and again his children were the "protective factor", the jury was told.

In his evidence, David Uzosike, a psychiatric nurse with the crisis team, said that on August 18, for the first time, Mr Peters said he did not consider his family a protective factor, but added that he was "too much of a coward to attempt anything".

He talked about the family's forthcoming holiday and said he wanted his medication sorted out. He said he had been putting his financial affairs in order.

Two crisis nurses, visiting him at home, felt he did not present as being suicidal.

On August 21, in a follow-up call, Mr Peters rejected another visit and denied he had suicidal intentions, the inquest heard.

The Peters family went on holiday to Bournemouth from August 26 to 31. They were home on September 1 and he went missing the next day.

The cause of death was asphyxiation due to suspension.

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