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£1.8m home refurb dad died on rail line

Stress: The Grade II listed property in Bristol that Mr Thomas was renovating PICTURES: SWNS

A FATHER-OF-FOUR stepped in front of a train after suffering mental health problems triggered by the stress of refurbishing his £1.8million Grade II-listed home, an inquest heard.

Benedict Thomas, 53, was killed after telling psychiatric hospital staff he was going to meet his wife Jane.

The landlord was an inpatient at the Priory clinic in Bristol from November 24, 2017 until his death on January 2 last year. But at no point had he expressed any desire to take his life.

Tragic: Stapleton Road rail station

An inquest at Avon coroner’s court heard how Mr Thomas’s mental health deteriorated after moving to the house in Clifton, Bristol, in November 2016. Its listed status meant all the refurbishment work required planning consent.

Mrs Thomas told the court her husband had been rocked by a bill for some work in October 2017, which was likely to be the first of many. He was sleeping just one hour per night, she said.

He was diagnosed with anxiety and severe depression. With treatment, he showed improvement and was allowed to make home visits. But on January 2, he went to Stapleton Road station after telling Priory staff he was going to see his wife, who was away that day.

Delivering a narrative conclusion, assistant coroner Robert Sowersby was ‘uncritical’ of Mr Thomas’s care. ‘It was one of those awful tragic events that comes out of the blue,’ he said.

The Priory has since reviewed its policy for dealing with missing informal inpatients. Mrs Thomas said: ‘We hope lessons have been learned and future patients will benefit as a result.’

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