Sheffield scissor firm boss died after suffering years of stress

The managing director of a Sheffield scissor firm was found dead at his home by a friend after suffering more than a decade of stress, an inquest heard.
Nick Wright.Nick Wright.
Nick Wright.

Nick Wright, the former boss of Ernest Wright And Son, a scissor manufacturer established in 1902, took his own life in February, Sheffield Assistant Coroner David Urpeth found.

A friend of the 48-year-old saw him hanging on February 1 when he looked the letter box of his Kelham Island flat.

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Mr Urpeth said: "On February 1, 2018 a friend of Mr Wright's attended his home as he had not seen him for several days. On looking through the letterbox he believed he could see him hanging from the ceiling."

Mr Wright had visited his GP on a number of occasions before his death, to report symptoms of stress and anxiety at appointments dating back to 2007, Mr Urpeth said.

In a report his GP Dr Lees said he had been given various different prescription drugs as well as being referred for cognitive behaviour therapy.

Mr Wright suffered a transient ischaemic attack - known as a 'mini stroke' - in 2015 and during an appointment in May 2016, he reported he was stressed related to him running his own scissor factory in Sheffield.

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Mr Urpeth told the court: "I have also had sight of a letter written by Mr Wright and I am certainly not proposing to read that out but I have taken note of it."

PC Daniel Etock, the officer in charge of the case, told the court he attended after being contacted by a PCSO officer who was initially called to Mr Wright's flat at Brooklyn Works, Green Lane.

He said: "When we arrived at the front door we could see through the letterbox that there appeared to be a person suspended from the ceiling. We could see his feet were around a foot-and-a-half off the floor."

PC Etock said police forced entry and paramedics pronounced Mr Wright dead at the scene and added 'it became apparent that he had been there for some time.'

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He said a steel suitcase, containing a letter, several items and various forms of identification were also found at the property.

Mr Urpeth asked the officer if he was satisfied that there were no suspicious circumstances around or anyone else involved in Mr Wright's death, which he confirmed and added: "It appeared to be very much pre-planned."

A pathology report found Mr Wright had alcohol and traces of cannabis in his system at the time of his death.

In reaching a conclusion of suicide, Mr Urpeth referred to recent changes in guidelines which state that coroner's can now give a suicide conclusion 'on the balance of probability' rather than having to be 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

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He said: "I am entirely satisfied on the balance of probability that the death was suicide and that's my verdict.

"Mr Wright was a relatively young man and his death is a tragedy for him and all those who he leaves behind."

Ernest Wright and Son closed down last month after 116 years of producing scissors in the city.

Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.