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Barton man Andrew Maclean took his own life following his mother's suicide, inquest hears

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A BARTON man hanged himself six years after his mother committed suicide having never got over her death, a coroner was told.

Andrew Maclean (32) was devastated when his mum took her life in February 2014 in South Africa from where he had moved to England the year before to work in a hotel as a pastry chef.

An inquest at Winchester Coroner's Court heard Andrew was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger’s as a boy in Johannesburg where he was born.

An only child, he later told mental health practitioners that he was struggling to deal with her death.

Andrew Maclean (47782560)
Andrew Maclean (47782560)

Reading from statements, area coroner Rosamund Rhodes Kemp said Andrew suffered anxiety and depression, for which he was on medication, and had attempted suicide several times.

His last attempt before his death was in April 2020 at Wilverley Inclosure in the New Forest, but a passer-by had managed to talk him out of killing himself before calling emergency services.

According to statements from his mental health team, he continued to deteriorate “significantly” during lockdown and had given up his job as a chef.

He began working as a carer for Agincare in New Milton, where his manager Donna Whitherington described him as “reliable and honest" and dedicated to his job.

But the inquest heard how Andrew had been upset when housemates he was living with in The Fairways, Barton, grew worried about the risk of his catching Covid-19 through his job, and he had moved into a hotel just before his death.

Despite his difficulties, the inquest heard friends had described him as someone who “told jokes and laughed a lot”.

He had at one time played pool for the Walker Arms and was also a member of a darts team. But in the months before his death he had become "isolated and depressed".

The night before he died on 28th September last year, he had visited an 89-year-old dementia patient whom he should have spent 30 minutes with.

But in a statement, Ms Whitherington said he had in fact stayed for two hours which was "typical" of Andrew.

“I cannot express how much Andrew will be sadly missed by staff, clients and myself,” she said.

Andrew was found by a dog walker in woodland off Becton Lane, Barton, at 6.30am, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Ruling Andrew’s death as suicide, Ms Rhodes-Kemp said she felt it “very, very sad” that he did not seem to have realised "how highly regarded” he was by others.

She said he had “appeared to have never become at peace” with his mother’s death and the fact he had not been able to return to South Africa before it happened.

The Samaritans can be contacted for support 24 hours a day on 116 123 or www.samaritans.org

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