A DECORATOR ended his own life after a long battle with his mental health, but was “let down” by mental health services, his mother has said.

Bradley Saunders, of Clays Road, Walton, was found unresponsive at his home in May last year.

A documentary inquest overseen by area coroner for Essex, Lincoln Brookes, took place in Chelmsford last Thursday.

The inquest heard how Mr Saunders, 57, had been struggling with poor mental health and was deeply affected by the death of his brother eight years earlier, as well as a close friend the previous month.

Mr Brookes said Mr Saunders’s mother, Mary Saunders, expressed the view that Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) could have provided her son with greater support.

He said: “[EPUT] has found some shortcomings not necessarily causative of death.

“Mr Saunders’s mother reported she felt her son had been let down by services and they could have played a greater role for Bradley; she said this during a call of candour.”

However, Mr Brookes reiterated he did not feel EPUT’s shortcomings had caused Mr Saunders’s death.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Coroner – area coroner for Essex, Lincoln Brookes, said mental health service's shortcomings had not contributed to Bradley Saunders's deathCoroner – area coroner for Essex, Lincoln Brookes, said mental health service's shortcomings had not contributed to Bradley Saunders's death (Image: Newsquest)

He continued: “This is not a case where I have been provided with any evidence that the actions of the trust have contributed towards the death.”

The inquest heard Mr Saunders, who had worked as a painter and decorator, had seen his GP in March and told them he had not been sleeping well.

On the day before his death, Mr Saunders had another appointment with his GP.

Mr Brookes said: “He described a strong knot in his gut, he hadn’t slept for seven days, and he had issues with his girlfriend.

“He agreed to treatment with the medication diazepam and mirtazapine.”

Mr Saunders was found unresponsive the following day, with coroner explaining there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

“On balance of probability, the cause of death was strangulation by ligature.

“This was not some sort of experiment or something of that sort.

“In a period of very low mood, possibly whilst suffering from lack of sleep, he was overcome by very dark thoughts and acted upon them.

“I offer my deepest condolences to Mr Saunders family who I think have been deeply affected by his passing.”

A spokesperson for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) said: “Our thoughts are with Bradley’s family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.

“We are continually focused on working with our patients and partners to ensure we provide the best care at all times, both on our wards and in the community.”