Tragic dad's suicide 'to be with son'

A SHEFFIELD dad left distraught following the death of his son hanged himself five months later when his partner told him their relationship was over, an inquest heard.

Grief-stricken father-of-two Norman Evans, aged 36, had started drinking heavily and self harming - including a suicide attempt - after one of his sons, Matthew Evans, died last December.

He repeatedly told partner Amanda Hunter how he wanted to join the youngster and that he would "be with him soon".

The day after Ms Hunter decided to end their relationship on April 17, Mr Evans was found hanged from a piece of washing line in Cat Lane Woods, Meersbrook, 200 yards from the couple's home in Abney Close, Gleadless, Sheffield Coroner's Court heard.

In a statement to police, Ms Hunter, who has two children including Mr Evans' surviving son, said: "We had been together for 10 years but we had problems with our relationship, when Norman would stay with his mum in Gateshead.

"When his son died he began drinking heavily. Norman was very distraught and tried hanging himself.

"He also began punching himself and last December he took two knives and tried cutting himself.

"On April 17 he left my house after spending a good weekend together with the kids but I told him I thought our relationship was over and this made him very upset.

"That night I thought he had gone to one of his friends' houses. I was worried about him and the following morning I began ringing round to see if he was alright.

"Norman was always mentioning joining Matthew and saying he would be with him soon."

The inquest heard that even before Matthew's death, Mr Evans had become depressed due to relationship problems and the loss of his job two years ago.

In November 2005, he sought help from his GP, when he admitted drinking 10 cans of strong lager each day.

Dr Paul Driscoll said: "He had some relationship difficulties and had been drinking heavily over the past two years - 10 cans of Stella Artois a day. "He had poor appetite, sleepiness and felt anxious."

The doctor said he had recommended Mr Evans should seek help to deal with his alcohol consumption, after which he would be given anti-depressants.

But after one follow-up consultation, when he said his drinking had decreased, Mr Evans failed to attend further appointments.

The inquest heard that apart from in 2003, when Mr Evans was suffering stress-related problems, he had no previous history of mental health difficulties.

His mum, Mary Kennedy, of Gateshead, said that in recent years her son had been depressed in Sheffield but was happier when in his native Tyneside, when he drank less.

Mr Evans' body was found in Cat Lane Woods at about 4.40pm on April 18 and he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Sheffield Deputy Coroner Judith Naylor said: "I record that he died as a result of hanging and that he took his own life. It is a tragedy and a cause of great sadness within his family."

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