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The Evening Chronicle
Feb 23 2009
by Katy Simpson, Evening Chronicle
TRAGIC Harry Butcher’s death has left his family desperate for answers.
The 37-year-old mechanic was found in his bedroom with a belt tied around his neck.
The dad-of-seven bolted the door and is thought to have taken a large amount of medication, prescribed for depression, before choking himself.
But his heartbroken family believe he never meant to take his own life and fear it was a cry for help which went devastatingly wrong.
His father, also called Harry, 60, of Fossway, Walker, Newcastle, paid tribute to a man who dedicated his life to his children and suffered in silence with his battle against depression.
Harry Jnr, who had seven brothers and sisters, lived in Howdon, North Tyneside, with sons Henry, 19, Danny, 17, and James, 16, and doted on George, 19, Chantelle, 14, Callum, nine, and Ella, three.
Harry Snr, who lives with wife Doreen, 55, said: “I think it was a stunt that went wrong.
“He was on medication and we found out that the day before it happened he had pleaded with doctors to be admitted to hospital, but he wasn’t.
“I think he took the tablets, tried the belt on and couldn’t get it off.
“Why else would he have put his hands down inside it, as if he was trying to pull it away?
“He loved his family and he brought them up well.
“He taught them everything I taught him.
“We just don’t understand why this happened.”
Harry Jnr also founded a youth club and took deprived teenagers away camping on activities.
He loved the outdoors, and dedicated a large part of his life to the Territorial Army.
He was a talented mechanic and worked in a garage owned by his brother Matty, 35, who he was extremely close to.
The pair were inseparable since childhood.
It was Matty who kicked down his brother’s bedroom door and found Harry’s body. Harry Snr said: “Everything he did was with Matty and everything Matty did was for Harry.
“It has shattered Matty, he’s broken-hearted.
“When they were little, Harry used to speak for Matty because he had a speech impediment and didn’t talk much.
“Harry just used to know what he wanted to say.”
Harry’s cousin, Shirley Clough, 46, believes he did not open up about his mental health issues because he wanted to protect his parents.
She said: “He was so thoughtful. He was always making cake or soup for his parents.
“He never wanted to bother anyone with his problems.
“He knew his mam and dad would have been there straight away and because their health isn’t good, he probably wanted to protect them.”
The family are waiting for a date to be set for an inquest into Harry’s death