Depressed builder worried about work — (The Sentinal)

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The Sentinal

Depressed builder worried about work

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A THIRTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD man who had been prescribed anti-depressants because he was worried about his business took his own life, an inquest heard.

Builder Justin Smith, who was better known as Jud, was discovered hanged in woods near to Harracles Hall, in Dunwood Lane, Rudyard, on July 24 last year.

Justin, of Chorley Street, Leek, had started his working life collecting glasses at the Highway Man, in Threapwood, and then spent 14 years working at Heath’s Timber Merchants, in Sneyd Street, Leek.

He had been married twice and was engaged to Amanda Waterman-Smith who worked as airline cabin crew at the time of her partner’s death.

He was convicted of drink driving in 2008 and banned. In June, a month before his death, he went to the GP to discuss his stress and anxiety and was prescribed anti-depressants.

Speaking at the inquest his mother Janice Smith, from Cheadle, said: “Justin met his first wife when he was about 19 or 20 and moved to Leek to work at the timber yard with his father-in-law.

“He worked there for about 15 years and then he married again, left the timber yard and that relationship lasted about four years.

“Then he became a project manager and worked in London.

“I used to nag him about his drinking, he would go out with friends and have a few too many. He applied to get his driving licence back early but that was refused and it got him down.

“I know he worried about work, about his relationship and about money. For a while he seemed to be happy with Amanda.”

The court heard Justin and Amanda would have rows resulting in broken windows and doors being taken off the hinges.

Justin would drink and walk out but always apologise the next day and come back.

On July 23 they had gone out for a drink and Justin’s mood changed and he went home, leaving half a pint.

When Amanda got home he was watching television and she went to bed.

“The following morning he said he was going to work on a friend’s kitchen but he went to the woods with a rope and hanged himself.

He left a note, cash and an empty brandy bottle nearby.

His partner Amanda Waterman-Smith said: “Alcohol was a big part of Justin’s life. When we rowed he would say he was not worth anything and how he had hurt people. About once a month he would go out and have a blow out.”

North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith said Mr Smith had a history of mild depression and recorded a verdict that he took his own life.

He said: “For some reason his mood changed during that last 24 hours and he was clearly troubled. And like many men he found it difficult to open up about his thoughts and fears.”