‘Gentle’ Worthing man took his own life, inquest hears

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The grieving parents of a Worthing man who took his own life have been reassured that they ‘did everything they could to help him’.

Kevin Richardson, 54, of Sanctuary Housing, Queens Road, was found at the bottom of Teville Gate Car Park in Worthing on November 9, 2017.

He died from his injuries shortly after in hospital, an inquest heard.

On Tuesday, Crawley Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Richardson had a ‘kind and gentle nature, always putting others before himself’.

He had studied microbiology at Imperial College London but ‘started to show signs of mental illness’ and left after a couple of years.

He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1985 and had spent some time in hospital after trying to take his life in 1987, the inquest heard.

He had lived with his parents his entire life, but with them ‘getting older’ and wanting him to gain more independence, he was found temporary accommodation and initially became more self sufficient and ‘thrived’.

However, side effects from a change in medication in March 2016 for depression ‘caused him distress’ and he ‘talked about taking his life’.

Mr Richardson phoned his father at around 9am on the morning he died and said he was ‘not so good’, which was a ‘fairly typical response from Kevin’, the inquest heard.

Jemma Gaule, senior coroner’s officer, said: “Later that morning a member of the public reported that a male had jumped from the Teville Gate Car Park.

“Paramedics and police attended and Kevin was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he sadly died from his injuries.”

Mr Richardson’s mother, who was present at the inquest alongside his father and sister, said: “Kevin was a wonderful person, he was so special. I wish I would have gone to that car park.”

“I keep tormenting myself because we wanted to be with Kevin 24-7 really and the only reason he went was because we’re getting on and wanted to make sure he could cope.

“When he needed us we were not there.”

Mr Richardson’s sister added: “I want to say how terribly we miss him.”

Reaching a conclusion that Mr Richardson took his own life, assistant coroner Dr David Skipp told his family: “Listening to reports about his life, I think you did everything you could possibly do to look after him.

“You can’t support somebody 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Calling him a ‘very bright young man with plenty of potential’, Dr Skipp added: “You coped as well as anybody else could have, if not better, but I think in a way this was an impossible situation.”