Essex plasterer takes own life after losing job during pandemic

He had a history of depression and anxiety problems

An Essex plasterer took his own life after becoming unemployed during the Covid pandemic, an inquest has heard.

Matthew Lee, 48, was found dead at around 2pm on March 13 at an address in Bradwell-on-Sea, Southminster.

Matthew had attempted suicide in the past and had a previous medical history of depression, anxiety and insomnia.

At the time of his death, the 48-year-old was struggling to cope with unemployment, his relationship problems, and the loss of his driving licence.

At an inquest at Essex Coroner’s Court on Wednesday (August 11), coroner Michelle Brown concluded that Matthew’s death was a suicide.

He was ‘finding it hard to get a new job’

A statement from Matthew’s GP, who had consultations with the 48-year-old in the months leading up to his death, was read aloud at the inquest.

The court heard that on February 24, 2021, Matthew had told his GP he wanted to restart his anti-depressants.

Matthew had lost his job as a plasterer around a year before the appointment and was “finding it hard” to get work.

He was having to live with his parents and the GP said Matthew was in debt, on Universal Credit, and was worried about his financial issues.

After getting divorced in 2015, Matthew had other relationships, but the pandemic had created problems with his most recent partner.

He was struggling to sleep at night and felt depressed.

Matthew told his GP he had suicidal thoughts, but that he had no active plans to end his life.

The GP agreed that Matthew would be reviewed within three weeks or sooner – he sadly died two-and-a-half weeks later.

Death a “real shock”

Matthew’s parents last saw him when he went to bed on the night before he died.

They said he was in “good spirits” and was “making jokes”. He had also spoken about his plans to get a new job and move out of their house.

They said it was a “very good evening” and were grateful their last evening with their son was so pleasant.

In a statement after his death, Matthew’s father said it was a “real shock” and wondered why he had done it.

Mobile phone evidence showed Matthew had an argument the night before he died with a woman he had been in a relationship with.

In the messages, Matthew indicated suicidal intent and the coroner said this was evidence his death was a deliberate act of suicide on the balance of probabilities.

Credit Essex Live 

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