Inquest: Depression led to man’s suicide

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A man from Newnham who killed himself on a railway track had been driven to depression by loneliness and issues with his mother’s care home fees, his brother said.

Trevor Buswell died after being hit by a train at Dodford Road, Dodford, in May this year.

An inquest at Northamptonshire County Hall on Wednesday, October 22 heard the 74-year-old had no history of mental health illness.

His brother Stephen told the inquest that he believed Trevor had been driven to depression after Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) made investigations into the costs of looking after his mother. She had been staying at a care home in Earls Barton

Mr Buswell had visited his doctor and said he had been left feeling “isolated”, “lonely” and “stressed” in the weeks before his death and was prescribed anti-depressant medication. However, his GP, Dr Seow, said that he had appeared “more positive” and “forward thinking” when they met for an appointment on May 19, the day before he died.

During the inquest, Stephen said his brother was a skilled carpenter and ukelele player. He said: “Trevor visited our mother every week and took responsibility for all her financial affairs. However, when savings ran out, the county council confirmed they would cover the costs of her care, but later took this back, saying that too much had been spent on her personal expenses.

“They threatened to pursue Trevor to cover the costs, which left him very stressed and I took over the responsibility. I believe that the council’s actions made my brother feel depressed and guilty, as though he had let the family down. If I had known how bad his state was, I would have done my utmost to help him.”

Coroner, Anne Pember, said: “Mr Buswell became depressed and, though he sought help, made a firm decision that he no longer wanted to live.”

NCC declined to comment on the inquest.