Man took own life in Southwater Country Park day before ‘dream’ holiday

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A man who took his own life in Southwater Country Park was due to fly to Australia on a ‘dream’ holiday the day after, an inquest heard.

George Bailey, 20, from Six Acres, Slinfold, was found in his car on Saturday September 29.

At an inquest in Park House, Horsham, on Thursday, coroner Christopher Wilkinson heard that Mr Bailey had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Since 2009 Mr Bailey had been treated for mental illness at Horsham’s Early Intervention Service but had showed enough improvement to be cleared to go travelling to Australia, Thailand and Cambodia for four months.

His father Simon Bailey said: “He was a fun loving friendly chap, somebody who was bright, had lots of friends, was sporty, and enjoyed life.”

The inquest heard that in his early teens George had started to struggle as a pupil at Hurstpierpoint College and was referred by his GP to the Early Intervention Service.

There he met regularly with Richard Fraser, a consultant psychiatrist, and Stuart Clark, a clinical psychologist.

Dr Fraser said Mr Bailey had long had a dream of visiting his uncle in Australia, would have done a brief spell of teaching in Cambodia, and also hoped to attend art college.

Dr Clark said the team was devastated with what had happened as Mr Bailey was a popular figure in the team.

On September 29 a family who had stopped at the country park to eat lunch noticed a person in a car and called the emergency services just after midday.

Paramedics, firefighters, and police arrived and cordoned off the area. Some homes were also evacuated.

A warning note had been left on the car. Simon Bailey added: “On behalf of the family I would say that clearly George had decided to do what he did, but I think to the end he was mindful about people which is why the note was on the car.

“To the end he was still our son.”

Recording a verdict that Mr Bailey had taken his own life Mr Wilkinson said: “He felt that in doing what he did it would be the best solution for his family who he wanted to be happy.”

Simon Bailey thanked the Early Intervention Service because he said his son had improved as the family had seen signs of the ‘jolly old George’ during 2012.

He added: “My only question, as an open question, was there anything with hindsight on the treatment of George that could lead to some advance that would help another George in a similar position?”

Mr Wilkinson said that there was little else professionals could have done.