Chesterfield school caretaker took his own life, inquest hears

A Chesterfield school caretaker who had a history of anxiety and alcohol problems tragically took his own life, an inquest heard.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:35 pm

Robert Davenport was found dead at his home on Walgrove Road on July 29 last year.

The 54-year-old worked as a caretaker at Parkside School.

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The inquest was held at Chesterfield Coroner's Court, which is located inside the town hall.

Mr Davenport’s inquest concluded at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court last week.

Sarah Huntbach, assistant coroner, told the court: “He had been suffering with anxiety and alcohol-related problems and had sought help and advice from his GP and had had several admissions to hospital which had resulted in the transfer to the mental health crisis team.

“He had not managed to self-refer or engage with the alcohol-related services.

“He had been discharged from the mental health services on July 26, 2020.

“On the morning of July 29, 2020, he was found deceased at his home address.

“On the evidence, and on the balance of probabilities, this was a deliberate act by Robert to take his own life and that he intended to take his life, having previously expressed that it was all too late for anyone to do anything.”

Recording a narrative conclusion, Ms Huntbach said: “There were between February 2020 and July 2020 several missed opportunities, through failings of communication between health services and teams to assist with engagement with alcohol support services, and this gave rise to a set of circumstances which were contributory factors in the death.”

Mr Davenport’s obituary states he was a Chesterfield resident for most of his life and worked as a caretaker at Parkside School for around seven years.

He enjoyed music, theatre and football – he was a Chesterfield FC season ticket holder and also liked watching Liverpool.

An inquest is a public judicial inquiry to find the answers to a limited but important set of questions: who the deceased was; when and where they died; the medical cause of their death; and how they came by their death.

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