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Newbury electrician Ewan Simpson, who worked for Chubb Grand Designs Ltd., took own life

AN electrician struggling with substance abuse took his own life.

Ewan Simpson had been working for Newbury family firm Chubb Grand Designs Ltd.

Reading Town Hall
Reading Town Hall

His boss, project manager Amber Chubb, told an inquest into his death, held in Reading Town Hall on Thursday, November 2: “We were quite good friends outside of work [and] I thought he was nice to work with.

“He often came for lunch or dinner with mum and dad because he knew them through working for a family company.

“He was always joking and laughing and was fun to be around.”

But in private, 31-year-old Mr Simpson, who lived at Adey’s Close, Newbury, was struggling with alcohol and substance abuse.

His mother told the inquest her son had been abusing drugs – “mainly cocaine” – since he was aged around 20.

She added: “He received a large sum as an inheritance and basically spent that inheritance on drugs.

“His behaviour started to decline around this time.

“He took tablets he called ‘zanies’...I observed the effects the drugs were having.

“I tried to get him help numerous times but he never got professional help.

“He said if he thought about it too much he would kill himself.”

She told the coroner that her son had once been involved in a road traffic collision and there were fears he had been trying to end his life that way.

On Sunday, July 30, the inquest was told, a woman with whom he shared the three-bedroom, semi detached house, West Berkshire Council trading standards officer Heather Parson, came home and noticed a light on in Mr Simpson’s bedroom.

When she knocked on the locked door and received no reply, she alerted emergency services.

Police broke in at 5.22pm and found Mr Simpson’s lifeless body with a ligature around the neck.

An officer told the inquest in a statement that there were clearly “no life saving opportunities.”

A toxicology report found a blood alcohol level that represented almost twice the legal limit for driving plus a potentially fatal amount of the Class A controlled drug, cocaine, in Mr Simpson’s system.

This could have triggered psychosis, anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure) and dysphoria, according to the report.

The cause of death was given as compression of the neck, with the high blood concentration of alcohol and cocaine being a contributory factor.

Assistant Berkshire coroner Katy Thorne KC concluded that Mr Simpson had taken his own life, having blocked the bedroom door intending that no one would find him in time to save him.

If you need to talk to someone, Samaritans offer a 24-hour phone line available via 116 123. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org

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