Review launched after Chichester man’s death

A HORTICULTURALIST described as ‘mentally tortured’ hanged himself after repeated attempts to take his own life.

A review of his health care has been launched after Trevor Leech, 39, of Cedar Drive, Chichester, was found hanging in a cupboard in his bedroom by his mother, on Sunday, August 5.

Mr Leech had a history of depression and long-standing illnesses including chest and respiratory problems, an inquest in Chichester heard.

Coroner’s officer Chris Clinch said Mr Leech had joked with his mother, Mrs Perry, saying he ‘wasn’t very good at this suicide lark’. He also told her seven was a lucky number for him, and was hoping his seventh attempt at suicide would be successful.

The inquest last Wednesday heard Mr Leech had previously tried to drown himself in the sea.

Mr Clinch said Mrs Perry was ‘devastated and distressed’ to find her son, who she thought had been sleeping with his door closed.

He had been submitted to Oaklands Centre for acute care in Chichester on a number of occasions, and visited the centre to get help for anxiety and panic attacks the week he died. He had ‘extensive involvement’ with medical health teams and was given urgent referral because he was suffering from suicidal thoughts.

Mr Leech was not sectioned, but told someone would be on the other end of the phone to talk to him if he was worried.

Joe Turner, deputy assistant coroner, said: “This is a very sad case. There may have been some missed opportunities to have perhaps done this differently, although I have no evidence that they would have had any different outcome if they had changed anything or not.”

Sussex NHS has launched a case review.

A statement was read from Mrs Perry which stated Mr Leech’s partner was ‘controlling’, but Mr Turner did not deem this relevant to the events surrounding his death.

He had a daughter who did not live with him.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Turner said: “Trevor Leech killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

“The circumstances and method are not such that can lead us to believe that this was accidental. I am satisfied that Trevor can only have intended to take his own life.”