'He had everything to live for. I was shocked' — (Hull Daily Mail)

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Hull Daily Mail

Posted: August 13, 2013

A HIGH-FLYING chemist was found dead in his house after taking time off work for stress.

Gordon Haining, 45, was employed at the BP Chemical Works in Saltend and had just been promoted.

His body was found in bed at his North Ferriby home with a Stanley knife, a bottle of whisky and a suicide note by its side.

The knife had not been used and with only a small amount of alcohol and medication in Mr Haining’s system, pathologists were unable to discover how he died.

His father, John, said: “In my opinion, he had everything to live for. He will be sadly missed by us all.

“I know Gordon had no financial problems. He didn’t have any family or dependents to worry about and I know he was happy in his work.

“I was so shocked to hear of Gordon’s death.”

The Scottish scientist graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first in industrial chemistry and went straight to work for BP.

He moved to Hull more than a decade ago.

At the start of the year, Mr Haining was promoted to technical specialist, a role he secured over dozens of other applicants.

But behind the veil of happiness, he was struggling with depression.

Mr Haining had battled the illness since 1996, when he went to hospital after slashing his arm with a scalpel and said he did not want to live any more.

Another attempt on his life followed in 1997, when he poisoned himself and claimed to have had a car accident.

The chemist responded well to treatment and developed strategies for coping with stress, which he believed was triggered by work.

The illness resurfaced again in March this year, when he took a week off work and asked his doctor for antidepressants.

Mr Haining was then signed off sick for another fortnight.

His manager, Robert Watt, tried on several occasions to call and check he was OK.

When Mr Haining did not show up to work on Monday, April 15, the police were called. They broke into his home and found his body in a first-floor bedroom.

Mr Watt said: “Gordon was a very hard and capable worker. I was totally shocked when I found out.”

A post-mortem examination found Mr Haining had 150mg of alcohol in his blood, almost double the driving limit. His body also tested positive for antidepressants within the prescribed dose amount.

No cause of death could be determine but foul play was ruled out by police.

The alcohol in Mr Haining’s system would have been enough to impair his judgment but was nowhere near a lethal dose.

Recording an open verdict at an inquest yesterday, assistant coroner Michael Mellun said: “There’s some evidence in the past he suffered from depression but the note in itself can’t enable me to say he did something to end his life.

“I’ve insufficient evidence to conclude he died accidentally.

“I’m sorry to say its going to remain a mystery how he came to die.”