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Trevor Sapey of New Milton found hanged at home, inquest hears

A “controlling” man who made repeated threats to kill himself was found hanged at his New Milton home, an inquest heard.

Trevor Sapey (68) of Badgers Copse was found dead by his wife on 21st June last year.

Winchester Coroners’ Court heard how the former police sergeant, who also served in the Navy, was a “proud man” who “got on well with everybody”.

Winchester Coroners' Court
Winchester Coroners' Court

Behind closed doors, however, his wife explained he was a different person, who prevented her from seeing friends and would insist on taking her to and from work.

She said: “He would go into a phase and start threatening to do things. He’d say ‘you see that rope there – it’s been round my neck’.”

He also once held a sharp knife to his throat, she added.

She told the court: “It happened several times and was very scary. I didn’t know how to deal with it.”

She called police to their home in December 2022 after Mr Sapey became “drunk and abusive” and chased her around the property with a suicide note.

However, she said she decided not to press charges as she was worried he would harm himself.

She explained life had become “very difficult” and things got “progressively worse”.

She underwent counselling and was given help from charity, Victim Support, which Trevor disliked.

He was also “agitated” about a problem with his knee and the prospect of an operation.

On the day he died, Mrs Sapey went to a counselling appointment. She told the inquest she asked him before she left if he would be okay, referring to his previous comments around suicide.

He had previously told her: “I bet everyone thinks I won’t do it”.

When she returned home at around 4.20pm, she found him hanged in the garage. He had left a note which read: “I’ve done this for you, you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of”.

A post mortem confirmed he died of hanging.

Coroner Jason Pegg recorded a conclusion that Mr Sapey took his own life, adding: “It is clear to me Trevor’s character was controlling and coercive.

“He threatened to end his life on a number of occasions to cause fear.”

He added the suicide note further demonstrated the nature of his behaviour by “trying to place the blame”.

The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or at www.samaritans.org

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