Project manager hanged himself in Chesterfield woodland

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A project manager took his own life in Chesterfield woodland, his inquest heard.

Roy Thompson, aged 60, had flown from his home in Malawi, Africa, where he worked on various projects, to Britain just a few days earlier to seek treatment for his mental health, the inquest heard.

But he fled the Hartington Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and was found hanged in a secluded area of Westwood, Brimington Common, a week later.

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Today, after nearly four hours of deliberations, a jury of six men and five women recorded a verdict of suicide.

The entrance to the Hartington Unit.The entrance to the Hartington Unit.
The entrance to the Hartington Unit.

In a statement read to Chesterfield Coroner’s Court by Peter Nieto, Derbyshire area coroner, the jury said: “In April 2014, Mr Thompson returned to Malawi from the UK and by August sought psychiatric support due to lack of sleep and concerns about his financial situation.

“He was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in South Africa. After discharging himself, he returned to Malawi, where he attempted suicide on three different occasions.

“A decision was made for him to return to the UK, to attend a psychiatric facility, due to a lack of facilities in Malawi.”

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The inquest heard he arrived in the UK on October 11, 2015, and was voluntarily admitted to the Hartington Unit, a mental health unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, the following day.

It heard his levels of observation from staff within the unit were then reduced, from every 15 minutes to hourly, while his anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication was stopped, to allow him to be assessed. although the hearing was told this was not uncommon and he had been prescribed anti-anxiety and pain-relief medication in its place.

On October 15, 2015, Mr Thompson, of The Avenue, Dronfield, absconded from the unit, sparking a missing persons’ search.

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The jury recorded a verdict of suicide. saying: “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.”