Father-of-two who killed himself had ‘immense fear of being alone’, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 March 2012

Keri Britton

Keri Britton

Archant

A DEPRESSED former town council candidate who hanged himself at his Wisbech home had an “immense fear of being alone”, an inquest heard today.

Father-of-two Keri Britton, 25, who had a history of depression dating back to 2008, was found dead by his flatmate Timothy Chapman in October last year.

He had separated with his partner, Emma Harris-Coyne, the previous year.

Ms Harris-Coyne, mother to Keri’s two young sons, told today’s inquest: “Keri was a very loving person and father who would do anything for anyone.

“His two boys were his world and he was theirs. Our eldest son still says good night to daddy every night. He will look out of his bedroom window to see if daddy’s got his lights on - which means there’s stars in the sky.

“My boys look so much like him that I don’t know whether to smile or cry when I look at them.”

IT technician Keri, of Mill Road, had stood as a Conservative candidate in May’s Wisbech Town Council elections, finishing fifth with 275 votes in the Waterlees ward.

The inquest heard that Keri had suffered from bouts of depression and, on one occasion, had to have his stomach pumped after taking an overdose of paracetamol.

Ms Harris-Coyne said “any slight disagreement could send Keri into a tail spin.”

She said: “I believe that the straw that broke the camel’s back was Keri’s immense fear of being alone.”

He had been taking anti-depressants since 2009 but this had caused problems with his service to the Territorial Army.

Ms Harris-Coyne told the court that in mid-September Keri had returned a week early from a training course with the TA.

She said: “I later found out that he had wanted to be sent to Afghanistan but they discovered that he was on anti-depressants so he couldn’t go.

“I think he stopped taking them soon afterwards.”

The inquest heard that Keri had argued with Ms Harris-Coyne and a mutual friend on the day of his death. He had also broken up with his new girlfriend.

Coroner William Morris concluded: “This is an extremely sad matter, where a young man has died.

“The verdict I return is simply this; Keri David Ewart Britton killed himself.”

Ms Harris-Coyne added: “I will miss him more than I can possibly say.”

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