Depressed man killed himself after lover's death

A depressed man took his own life just weeks after his partner had committed suicide, an inquest heard.

Raymond Chamberlain, 51, was discovered hanging by his parents in the loft at his home in West Valley Road, Hemel Hempstead.

The pair had become concerned on May 11 when their son, who had recently left hospital, failed to answer their calls and so they visited the Apsley property.

During a hearing into the death on Wednesday, August 19, Hertfordshire coroner Edward Thomas said: "Although no note was found, in the front bedroom his will was on the computer keyboard.

"It had obviously been placed on the keyboard and there were details about his pension scheme."

Mr Chamberlain, a broadcast engineer, had a history of depression and anxiety and in November 2008 he took an overdose.

He was admitted to a mental health hospital for treatment and it was during this time that his partner Peter took his own life during March this year.

Consultant psychiatrist Elham Aldouri said: "Generally speaking he (Mr Chamberlain] actually coped with his bereavement reasonably well. He even attended the funeral of his partner and was reported to have coped well.

"He started making plans for the future, like selling the house where he lived and buying a smaller property and was looking forward to leaving hospital."

Doctor Nicodimos Kamera, a community crisis team leader, who worked with Mr Chamberlain after he left hospital, said: "We thought things were going reasonably well. We were quite shocked because there was no indication to make us suspect he would do something like this."

Mr Thomas said neighbours described Mr Chamberlain as a 'fantastic neighbour' and they felt 'lucky to know him'.

He added: "I am satisfied that he took his own life and that is what he wanted. I'm satisfied that when he took his life he was suffering from a depressive illness."

The cause of death was recorded as cardio-respiratory failure due to suspension.