A Chichester man hung himself after mistakenly believing he had lost his job despite being reassured by his manager and family.
John Graham Rose, 60, was devastated at the thought of letting his family down after supporting them his whole life, but he misunderstood he was to be demoted rather than sacked from his position as supervisor at a science laboratory.
His wife Christine, 61, said he was convinced he had lost his job and pension. She paid tribute to him as a good husband and father.
"He was very distressed, pacing around the house," she said. "He said he had been given the sack. I tried to get him to talk to me but he wouldn't.
"He was absolutely convinced he would lose his job and his pension. Obviously that was terrible to him because he had a family he had taken care of all his life and that's why he was so upset."
Mr Rose had disappeared when his wife woke up on December 1 last year and could not be found after a search of the house and garden.
The family called the police and he was discovered on the floor of the garden shed on Mrs Rose's 61st birthday, December 3.
The week before he had been taken to hospital and prescribed anti-depressants after being found drunk in Chichester.
Mrs Rose added: "He was always a very happy and jolly and funny person. He got on really well with all his colleagues.
"He was always very responsible about his family. Obviously that was his drive to look after us, that's why he got into the state he did."
Mr Rose worked at Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Holmbury St Mary, Surrey, for 27 years, having been promoted to his position in 2005.
His manager Berend Winter called him the day after the meeting to reassure him of his position at work.
"As a manager he was untenable," he said. "I told him I had to find a way of replacing him effectively. I know it upset him.
"He would lose his position as a manager but not lose his job. He was a very good craftsman.
"On the Friday before he died I was told he had stayed at home because he was so upset.
"I could understand why. I rang him and asked him how he was.
"He said he was very distressed. I tried to talk to him to try to get through to him and tell him he didn't need to worry.
"I spoke with him for 30 minutes or longer. During the conversation I apologised for losing my temper and putting pressure on him. It was not what I wanted because he was so distressed. I could not get through to him. I just needed somebody else in control."
West Sussex assistant deputy coroner Mike Kendall said: "In my view the evidence is very clear. Mr Rose concluded rightly or wrongly his job was at risk and convinced himself he let himself and his family down despite assurance from Mr Winter and his family that was not the case.
"It was clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Mr Rose took his own life."
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