Newlywed took his life in ‘tragic’ case

Ben Hinchliff and wife Emily. He took his own life three weeks after their wedding.
Ben Hinchliff and wife Emily. He took his own life three weeks after their wedding.
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A former barrister took his own life just weeks after getting married, after battling depression following his brother’s death.

The body of former London lawyer Ben Hinchliff, aged 46, was found in an outbuilding at the family farm - which he had left his legal firm to run - on October 18 last year.

A Sheffield inquest heard a shotgun was nearby and the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

A statement from his wife Emily, read to the court, said Mr Hinchliff had suffered a ‘major depressive episode’ in 2011 following the death of his younger brother Adam some months previously.

Adam had died of a heart attack at Silkstone Golf Club in Barnsley.

Ben and Emily split up for a time but remained in touch, and after Emily became concerned about him ‘taking his own life’, Mr Hinchliff stayed for a month in The Priory clinic, where he was treated successfully for drinking problems.

His wife described him as being sober and ‘doing really well’ after he was discharged, and they married on September 28, 2013.

A doctor at the Kingswell Surgery in Penistone, Barnsley, also said he had seemed ‘positive about his future’.

But on the day before he died Mr Hinchliff - who had also been worried about business matters at Nether Mill Farm in Penistone - seemed ‘quiet’.

When his wife returned home at 3pm on October 18 she could not find him, and a search by neighbours eventually led to the discovery in the outbuilding.

Police and paramedics attended.

Toxicology tests found there was no trace of alcohol or other substances in Mr Hinchliff’s body.

Coroner Christopher Dorries recorded a verdict that Mr Hinchliff took his own life.

He added: “It is not for me to speculate why that should be.

“It is blatantly a very tragic and sad situation, especially given his very recent marriage.”