09:00AM, Sunday 30 June 2019
Stephen Appleton and Sandra Smith
An inquest into the death of a 51-year-old man has determined that he died by suicide.
Stephen Appleton was found dead at his Windsor home on Thursday, April 12, 2018, having hanged himself.
The inquest at Reading Coroners Court heard he had been suffering from mental health problems and alcohol dependence.
Assistant coroner Alison McCormick record-ed the verdict on Tuesday, June 18, following a hearing that took place over two days in February and a day in May.
In a statement after the inquest, Mr Appleton’s family said he was ‘full of life’ before he became ill.
“His symptoms started only about a year before his death,” said his partner Sandra Smith. “Before that he was full of life. He was loved by his family and friends and we loved him.
“He was charismatic, social and had a ‘just do it’ attitude.”
Ms Smith was critical of the mental health care Mr Appleton received.
“He was depressed and anxious but sought help,” she added in the statement. “Despite repeated cries for help he was never provided with the help he needed which I believe could have saved his life.
“Our family has lost Stephen, the father and partner we loved. I believe he could have been saved with the right treatment.
“We will never come to terms with our loss.”
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement that it sent its ‘sincere condolences to Stephen’s family and friends following Stephen’s tragic death’.
It said: “We are committed to ensure that any lessons that may be learnt are acted on, helping us better support people experiencing mental health crisis.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this story, the Samaritans can offer free 24-hour support on its helpline 116 123.
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