A FATHER whose love of his sons was ‘paramount’ drowned himself in the sea off Shoreham Beach.
Andrew Scriven, 47, of Hancock Way, Shoreham Beach, had taken an ‘impulsive’ overdose the day before the incident in May last year.
“I would always describe him as a little bit different,” said his wife, Caroline Scriven.
“Overall, I think he was very much in his own world most of the time. He could be very kind.”
Mrs Scriven said her husband looked ‘very different’ towards the end, with a ‘glazed expression’.
The couple had been living separately and were in the process of a ‘difficult’ divorce.
An inquest in to Mr Scriven’s death took place at West Sussex County Council Record Office on Thursday.
The inquest heard Mr Scriven was taken to accident and emergency on May 9, after taking an overdose at his mother’s house.
“He seemed to recognise it was a stupid thing to do,” said Christopher Scriven, his older brother.
Christopher started seeing his brother more frequently, in the six months before his death.
He and his family had been living abroad and had come back to live in England in the months before Andrew’s death.
“He was in a very dark place,” Christopher told the inquest.
“His focus was on the boys and not seeing them on a regular basis.”
He told the inquest his brother, who had ‘done very well’ in business, had never talked about harming himself.
Andrew saw a psychiatrist following the overdose, who said he had seemed ‘paranoid’ but did not seem to be at risk of serious harm.
However, later the same day, he left Christopher’s house and ‘walked off towards the beach’.
He was followed by a family friend, Mr Andrew Wilson, who saw his footprints in the sand on Shoreham Beach.
A surfer, who was surprised to see Andrew was dressed in ‘civilian clothing’, watched from the beach as he stood on the rocks and swam out to sea.
The inquest heard Andrew seemed ‘on a mission’ to stay under the water.
He was rescued by the surfer and canoeists, and taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton by paramedics. He died in hospital 13 days later, having never regained consciousness.
Recording a verdict of suicide, assistant coroner Martin Millward said Andrew Scriven was ‘intent on ending his life’. “He killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed,” he added.