Family's tribute to 'hugely loved' project manager who took his own life in Chesterfield

The family of a project manager who took his own life in Chesterfield woodland have paid tribute to him.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:00 am

Roy Thompson was found hanged in trees in Westwood, Brimington Common, on the afternoon of October 22, 2015 – having gone missing from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s Hartington Unit, at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, seven days earlier.

Jurors yesterday recorded a verdict of suicide after hearing the 60-year-old, of The Avenue, Dronfield, had returned from Malawi just a few days before he went missing to seek treatment for his mental health.

In a statement to the Derbyshire Times following the completion of Mr Thompson’s inquest, his family said: “Roy was a hugely loved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother, a humble, selfless, altruistic man who worked hard throughout his career on international projects to help the most impoverished and disadvantaged people of our world.

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The entrance to the Hartington Unit.

“We would like to thank Dr Anna Stout working in Malawi in 2015 for her tireless devotion in her care of Roy there.

“We would like to thank Derbyshire Police and their liaison team for the kindness in contact with family following the disappearance of Roy and after his discovery.

“The inquest has been heard more than four years after Roy’s death and the emotional wounds in our recounting of events are as raw as they were four years ago.”

The jury inquest heard Mr Thompson had been admitted to Hartington voluntarily after three suicide attempts within a fortnight in Malawi, where a “collective decision” was taken to return to the UK to seek treatment due a lack of facilities in the African country.

The inquest heard he had first sought psychiatric help in 2014, due to a “lack of sleep and concerns about his financial situation”.

His body was discovered by a dog walker in woodland, about a mile from the unit.

Reaching their verdict, the jury said: “We believe Mr Thompson took a deliberate decision to bring about the end of his life. The reason was his absconsion from the mental health unit to a relatively secluded area with minimal footfall and the method of how he took his own life, with deliberate intent.”