Derbyshire man took his own life after being told to self-isolate due to Covid-19, inquest hears

The father of a man who took his own life says he believes his son’s mental health was ‘negatively impacted’ after he was told to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 1:13 pm

In the days leading up to his death, Robert Scothern had received a positive test for coronavirus and was told to stay at home.

The 53-year-old, of Cheetham Avenue, Unstone, had also been living with long-term back problems and experiencing stress at work, an inquest heard.

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Robert Scothern's inquest was held at Chesterfield Coroner's Court.

Mr Scothern’s body was found in woodland off the A621 near Owler Bar in July.

A coroner has now concluded he died by suicide.

In a statement read out at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court on Friday, Mr Scothern’s father John described his son as being ‘morally strong’ and someone who would ‘protect anyone who needed it’.

He said his son, who was single, was an ‘adventurer’ and used to love walking and climbing in the Peak District, but around 25 years ago, he started experiencing problems with his back which prevented him from doing the things he loved.

Mr Scothern said his son’s back problems were inoperable and he had received ‘many different treatments’ over the years.

He added that his son, who was a stores manager, had been experiencing stress at work.

“I didn’t expect Robert to take his own life,” he said.

“I believe a combination of his back issues and the pressures of work contributed to his decline in mood.

“I also believe that Robert having to self-isolate due to Covid-19 had a negative impact on his mental health.”

The inquest heard Mr Scothern told his GP that he had received a positive test for the virus in the days leading up to his death.

He ‘did not express any suicidal ideation’, his GP said.

Mr Scothern was reported missing after he left his home on July 22, sparking a huge search.

His body was sadly found on the evening of July 24.

Coroner Susan Evans recorded a conclusion of suicide.

She said Mr Scothern had ‘supportive family and friends’, and offered her condolences to them at the end of the inquest.

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