The family of a York man who took his own life said they were ‘heartbroken without him’.
James Andrew Turbill, known as Andrew, killed himself on 6 May at home on the morning he was due to return to work.
He was worried about going back to work after being on furlough and had concerns about Covid safety measures, an inquest heard.
The engineer followed his usual routine that morning at his home on Holgate Lodge Drive. He said goodbye to his wife Sarah at 7am as she left for her job as a teaching assistant.
Mr Turbill had been due to leave for work after his wife. But instead, the inquest heard that he went into the garage at the side of his house and hanged himself. He was 57.
An autopsy carried out at York Hospital on 10 May, had found there was no alcohol or drugs in Mr Turbill’s system on the morning he died.
In a statement, Sarah Turbill told the inquest that she returned from work as usual, at lunchtime that day, and was surprised to see her husband’s car in the drive.
She called out for him as she came into the house, but he didn’t reply. Mrs Turbill went into the kitchen, and noticed the garage side door was ajar and she expected her husband to walk out any minute.
But when he didn’t, she went into the garage and found him.
She said her husband’s suicide was a complete shock: “Never in a billion years did I think he would commit suicide. He wasn’t depressed or withdrawn or distant.”
The weekend before Mr Turbill killed himself, the inquest heard the couple, who had been married for 28 years, had been out cycling together.
On the Sunday, he had spent time looking for frogs in a local pond with his neighbour’s son and on the Monday, he had talked to his daughter about plans to go to America for his 60th birthday.
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‘Chaos at work’
The inquest heard that Mr Turbill had been anxious about returning to work after a lengthy furlough. He was worried other people might not follow Covid guidelines and his wife said he, ‘hated’ what he saw as the ‘chaos’ where he worked at Crockey Hill.
As his return to work drew nearer, Mr Turbill’s anxiety increased. His widow told the inquest that he hadn’t called in sick that day or contacted his employers to say he wouldn’t be returning.
Assistant coroner John Broadbridge said there were no warning signs from Andrew Turbill.
He said it was ‘possible’ and in keeping with Sarah Turbill’s view, that Mr Turbill suffered a severe anxiety attack whilst alone in his home that morning, before he was due at work at 8.45am.
Giving a verdict of suicide, John Broadbridge said it was an “impulsive but deliberate act. There must have been some planning involved with the rope. He knew he wouldn’t be disturbed.”
Neighbours and friends of the Mr Turbill were in shock and disbelief when they heard what had happened. His wife said the family are “heartbroken without him”.