Solicitor hung himself over stress — (Manchester Evening News)

SSRI Ed note: Anxious solicitor prescribed antidepressant by GP, he becomes suicidal and hangs himself. No history of depression.

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Manchester Evening News

21/ 8/2008 UPDATED 18:35, 21 JAN 2013

By Manchester Evening News  15:42, 19 APR 2010

A SOLICITOR who was stressed over pressures at work was found hanged in the stables of his home.

Iwan Hnylycia’s body was found by his wife Orysia at their home in Lower Whitley, Warrington, just hours after he told his daughter: “Have a lovely day.”

An inquest was told the 47-year-old had been stressed about work, hadn’t slept for weeks and had told his doctor he’d had thoughts of self-harm.

Mrs Hnylycia, 47, told the inquest in Warrington he was ‘beside himself with worry’ about pressures at work.

She said she had been very worried about her husband, who was an employment specialist at Slater Heelis Collier Littler solicitors in Sale, after she found him in the stables with a rope days before she found his body on April 18.

She said his mother was also ill and he had been affected by the death of his father.

Mrs Hnylycia fought back tears as she told the inquest about the day he died.

She said: “He was the same as he had been all week. He hadn’t slept for weeks.

“I had to leave him because I had to take my daughter to school. We got to school and my daughter always phoned him. He said, ‘have a lovely day’ and she said, ‘okay, see you later’.”


Mrs Hnylycia also spoke to him on the phone, but he seemed ‘vacant’.

She went to a friend’s house on the way home to tell her about her concerns.

When she arrived home she found the stable doors open.

She said: “I noticed the doors to the stable were slightly ajar. I just ran to the stables. Normally it would be locked.”

After finding his body she ran into the house and dialled 999.

The inquest was told that notes were found in his pockets. Police investigated, but ruled out foul play. He had no history of depression.

Derbyshire-born Mr Hnylycia had earlier told his GP he’d had thoughts of self-harm, but said his wife and daughter were a ‘preventive factor’.

He said he had been ‘under considerable stress’ at work and was ‘feeling in a low mood’.

Mr Hnylycia was prescribed medication and referred to a ‘crisis team’ for further help.

Mental health nurse Joanne Davock said he had told her he was experiencing difficulties at work and was worried about the outcome of a tribunal.

He also told her he was having suicidal thoughts.

She said: “We felt that he was a low risk because he didn’t have concrete plans and because he said his wife and daughter were a preventive factor.”

He was offered further NHS support, but said he wanted to seek private help.

Michael Hamlin, a colleague at the solicitors firm and friend said he had seemed agitated the last time he had seen him.


He said: “He became very agitated and worried, and was clearly under a lot of stress.”

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg’s verdict was that Mr Hnylycia had taken his own life.

He said: “I’ve heard that he was acutely stressed with pressures relating to his work and had initially sought to get help.

“It was clear from the statement from his GP that there were very real concerns about his well-being and it was clear also that he had considered the possibility of taking his own life, although he had assured mental health professionals that he wouldn’t take that step.

“His widow told us that, as the days went by, he became increasingly more anxious as he went about his day-to-day activities prior to April 18.

“I have no doubt that he intended to die. My verdict is that he took his own life.”

Mr Hnylycia’s profile in a company newsletter said he obtained an honours degree in business studies at Manchester Polytechnic in 1987 while he was working in the Department of Health and Social Security.

He joined Slater Heelis in 1989 after a career change.

He was a member of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain and a member of a Ukrainian folk group called The Kobzar Brotherhood, which performs throughout the country and abroad.