Dad hanged himself as ‘pressures, worry and debt were just too much for him to bear’

A press conference held at Ecclesfield Police station where Karen Mead appealed for information about her missing husband Jason Mead
A press conference held at Ecclesfield Police station where Karen Mead appealed for information about her missing husband Jason Mead
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A DAD-of-two from Sheffield who lost two jobs because of the recession and faced mounting debts was found hanged in the Derbyshire hills.

Jason Mead, from Wortley Road, High Green, was described by relatives after an inquest into his death as ‘a very loving, caring person who just wanted a better life for his family’.

They said he had lost two jobs because of the economic downturn and, feeling he had let his family down, had ‘a breakdown due to lack of money and an increase in debt’.

His persistence led to him eventually landing a job as head of design for an interior design firm – but his family said they believed he felt it came too late, and ‘the pressures, worry and debt he had to cope with were just too much for him to bear’.

Jason was reported missing last August by his wife Karen, who made an emotional appeal for him to return home. His Ford Puma car was found by her and his parents the next day, in a lay-by at Cutthroat Bridge, on the A57 near Ladybower Reservoir.

Police inquiries and initial searches were unable to trace him.

But, on September 24 last year, a wider search involving police dog handlers found his body hanging from a tree in Ashopton Woods, about two miles from the car.

It is believed he was suspended from a tow-rope he had bought at a filling station in Tinsley. The purchase had been recorded on security camera film.

The Chesterfield inquest heard his decomposed body had to be identified using dental records.

Jason, who worked for a company in Macclesfield, had last been seen by his wife on the evening of July 31, said Det Sgt Michael Lewis, of South Yorkshire Police.

He sent her a text message on August 1 but the message did not indicate any intention to harm himself.

“A suicide note was not found. He hasn’t left anything to explain why he has done this,” said Det Sgt Lewis, adding no suspicious circumstances surrounded the death.

A post-mortem examination by pathologist Dr Andrew Hitchcock concluded death had resulted from hanging.

Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson said: “We are no closer to knowing why he did this. It’s as big a mystery now as it was then.”

Mr Anderson recorded an open verdict and told Jason’s family: “I am sure you would have preferred it if police had found something that gave a clue as to why he did this.”