The family of a dad who took his own life during lockdown have described him as having a ‘heart of gold’.
An inquest heard Lee Vincent had sent several emotional text messages in the hours leading up to his death.
It culminated in a video call to his former partner. He then hanged himself in front of the live feed on WhatsApp and his ex-partner raised the alarm.
Paramedics had to climb through the kitchen window to get inside the locked house in Samuel Street, Packmoor. But it was too late to save the 43-year-old, who was pronounced dead at the scene on April 28.
Now Lee’s family have paid tribute to the father-of-two.
Mother Elizabeth Garnett said: “From Christmas onwards, he seemed to be doing well. The day before he passed away, he was in good spirits. We were laughing and joking. He gave me no indication of what was to follow.”
At the inquest, she said Lee had been ‘the most loving person’ who ‘adored’ his children.
The last time she saw him, her son had ‘left me with a lovely smile on his face’.
The inquest heard from a friend who said Lee had previously talked of killing himself and so he hadn’t believed his friend was going to carry things through this time.
He had received two texts from him. One said: “I’m no good to anybody.” The friend replied: “Don’t do anything stupid.”
The inquest was told the friend did not pass on this information to Lee’s family, despite seeing his brother that day.
“I now regret this with all my heart,” the friend added. “Had I thought differently, I would have been round his house in a shot. I thought he would be all right.”
A pathologist confirmed that Lee died from hanging.
Lee had reported mental health issues to his doctor over the years and had been referred to support organisations.
The inquest was told he’d also been prescribed medication. But against medical instructions, he would choose to come off it when he felt better.
North Staffordshire area coroner Emma Serrano recorded a conclusion of suicide.
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