A RETIRED engineer hanged himself aged 83—leaving notes explaining that he could no longer cope with life, an inquest heard.
Proud Stanley Machin needed help washing and shaving and said being able to eat only pureed food made him feel “the lowest of the low.”
Relatives said that he had used all of his remaining strength nursing wife Mary through cancer and the effects of a stroke.
He took his own life in the hall of the couple’s home in Barber Wood Road, Blackburn, while Mary, daughter Linda Whitaker and her husband Geoff were shopping.
Tearful Linda told Rotherham Coroners’ Court that she was aware something was wrong on their return.
She said: “It was alarming because all the doors were slightly open and dad was always a stickler for closing them to keep the heat in.
“He was just there in the corner and because he was so low to the ground we thought he was just staring. I asked what he was looking at before we realised his feet were a couple of inches off the floor.”
Mr Machin, who worked as a fitter for a Rotherham steel company, suffered a first breakdown when he was approaching retirement. Health problems followed.
Linda, of Kimberworth, said he had suffered a blow when a pension fund he was paying into turned out to be just an insurance policy.
She told Wednesday’s hearing : “He was such an astute man that he really kicked himself hard because he had so many plans for that. It made him want to stay at work and save up a little more money.”
After several months at Rotherham General Hospital he suffered a shoulder injury the day before he was discharged.
Mr Machin denied himself a knee operation to look after Mary as she recovered from a stroke. She was later diagnosed with breast cancer.
Linda said: “Because he was such a strong character, we were all putting our energy into mum.
“He mustered every bit of strength he’d got to see him through to when she came home.
But he realised that he couldn’t care for her how he felt he should. He just lost his will at that stage.”
In 2009 Mr Machin drank bleach, which the family said they still could not comprehend but saw as a cry for help.
Mr Machin also had visits from the elderly mental health team twice a year, the last in June 2010.
He also had daily visits from carer Kathryn Robinson to help him wash, shave and change. Mrs Robinson said that there had been nothing untoward or out of the ordinary during her visit the day before he died last September 25.
Dr Leonard Harvey, who performed the post mortem examination, found a narrow mark around Mr Machin’s neck and recorded the cause of death as hanging.
Mr Andrew Beresford, assistant deputy coroner for Rotherham, recorded a verdict of suicide, saying: “This is an extremely sad case.
“I have taken into account the circumstances surrounding Mr Machin’s death, the history of psychological and health problems he had to deal with, particularly in later life and including previous attempts to take his own life.
“The notes clearly express the problems he was having and infer at least that it was his intention to bring his life to an end.”
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