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‘Perfectionist’ who took his own life was worried about losing job, inquest hears


A man described as a ‘perfectionist’ was worried about losing his job when he took his own life, an inquest has heard.

Lee Francis, 37, feared that a possible mistake made while working as a forklift driver two months earlier involving an export consignment to Japan might lead to him being sacked.

On Monday, an inquest at Bury St Edmunds was told that Mr Francis was found by his cousin Stacey Hawes hanged in the hallway of his home in Tavern Court, Stowmarket on the evening of January 7.

In a statement, Ms Hawes said that Mr Francis had told her that while loading a lorry he had dented a drum but let the consignment leave as he did not want to trouble anyone else about it.

Mr Francis had worried that he might be accused of gross misconduct, be dismissed and unable to obtain further work although nothing had been said to him about it by his employers.

The inquest heard that Mr Francis’ girlfriend of 12 years, Beverley Green, had described him as a ‘perfectionist’ who suffered from anxiety and required constant reassurance but had never spoken of harming himself.

Mr Francis, who was a keen Ipswich Town FC season ticket holder who travelled all over the country supporting his team, had been enthusiastic about his work.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone said that following the death of Mr Francis, his mobile phone was examined and it was discovered that he had looked at an internet site which dealt with hanging.

Recording that Mr Francis took his own life, Dr Sharpstone said: “It is clear that this was someone who took his work very seriously and was a perfectionist and was very concerned about an episode at work with a damaged drum.”

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