Husband 'hanged himself after struggling to cope with isolation'

Husband, 61, hanged himself in garage of his Surrey home after struggling to cope with isolation during Covid pandemic, inquest hears

  • Ray Herridge’s body was found by his wife at garage in Epson, Surrey, on Feb 2
  • Inquest was told combination of isolation and his cancer diagnosis got too much
  • The 61-year-old hand wrote a note to his wife Jay apologising for taking his life
  • For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

A 61-year-old man hanged himself at his garage after struggling to cope with isolation during the Covid pandemic, an inquest has heard. 

Ray Herridge’s body was found by his wife near their home in Epson, Surrey, on February 2 after the effects of the coronavirus lockdown took their toll on his well-being.

The coroner heard that Mr Herridge’s suffering was worsened when he received news that he had prostate cancer but he had refused to seek professional support to help manage the burden.

The inquest into his death was told that the combination of isolation and his cancer diagnosis got too much to handle, which led him to handwrite a note to his wife Jay, apologising for taking his own life. 

Ray Herridge’s body was found by his wife near their home in Epson, Surrey, (stock image) on February 2 after the effects of the coronavirus lockdown took their toll on his well-being

In a statement, read at Woking Coroner’s Court, Mrs Herridge said: ‘Ray was diagnosed with low level prostate cancer late last year and he took the news badly.

‘This, coupled with the isolation from work due to the Covid situation, had an effect on his well-being.

‘I accompanied him to consultations and there was a clear treatment plan and the prognosis was good. 

‘However, he was struggling to cope and he was unwilling to seek support from professionals.’

Assistant Surrey Coroner Dr Karen Henderson heard that Mr Herridge had told his wife he was going to do some work in their garage block nearby but that she found the garage open when she went to take him a drink.

Mrs Herridge said it was clear that he was working as his personal items were present. 

Assistant Surrey Coroner Dr Karen Henderson said that she accepted the death was caused by hanging during the inquest at Woking Coroner’s Court (pictured)

She noticed Mr Herridge on the roof of the garage and thought he was just sitting up there. 

She then called a neighbour for urgent help once she realised what had actually happened.

Paramedics and police arrived at the couple’s home and Mr Herridge was pronounced dead at 12.19pm on February 2. 

A post-mortem examination showed that his death was due to hanging.

Dr Henderson said that she accepted the death was caused by hanging and added: ‘It is clear that he was deeply distressed by the coronavirus situation and his diagnosis.’

She said that it was a combination of both that led him to undertake an act to end his own life and concluded his death was suicide.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.  

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