Man made call to crisis team before suicide

An inquest into the suicide of Richard Little was held at Spalding Magistrates Court on Friday.
An inquest into the suicide of Richard Little was held at Spalding Magistrates Court on Friday.

The family of a Spalding man who took his own life want answers from health bosses about a phone call he made shortly before his death.

Richard Guy Little (25), of Lansdowne Road, was found hanging from a tree in Pecks Drove West, Spalding, on September 2, 2012, a day after trying for five minutes to contact mental health workers about his depression.

South Lincolnshire senior coroner Professor Robert Forrest recorded a suicide verdict at an inquest on Friday into Mr Little’s death.

During the inquest at Spalding Magistrates Court, Mr Little’s mother Jennifer said her son was ”very low” when she saw him just a day before his death.

“I last saw Richard on September 1 while dropping him off at his home and he seemed very low,” Mrs Little said.

“He was the kind of person who kept things bottled up but he was very reluctant to leave the car initially, so I told him that if he felt in a low mood, he should contact the mental health team and he agreed to do this.”

A mobile phone found by police on Mr Little’s body showed that he had tried to call the team but it went unanswered, a fact which a legal representative for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust called a “breakdown” in their system.

Helen Norris, a paralegal with the trust, said Mr Little had been known to mental health services since September 2010 and was seen regularly for more than a year.

But she added there was no evidence of him being transferred to a team for patients with severe depression after he was found to be self-harming and an internal investigation after his death had recommended improvements to the trust’s mental health monitoring system.

Prof Forrest said: “Richard Little killed himself with the probability that his mind was disturbed.”