Devastated dad hangs himself in son's bedroom, just weeks after son committed suicide the same way
The Hull Coroner's Court heard how Martin Leonard had told his wife Lisa that the face of their son, Macauley, was haunting him before he took his own life
A father reportedly hung himself in his family home less than a month after his only son committed suicide the same way. 21-year-old Macauley Leonard took his life in his bedroom in the family home earlier this year. Less than four weeks after he was found, his 48-year-old father Martin also committed suicide in the same room.
The Hull Coroner's Court heard how Martin told his wife that their son's face was haunting him before he took his own life in the home at Shinewater Park, Hull. The double inquest into both deaths heard how Macauley had become reclusive after he decided that he and his long-term girlfriend take a break, while in Martin's case, he never accepted the loss of his son.
Lisa Leonard, the mother and wife, told the Daily Mail that she had bought a herbal remedy anti-depressant, St. John's Wort, and truly believed that it had some form of positive effect. She delivered an emotional statement at the inquest by saying: "Macauley was our world, he was our only boy."
Martin had discovered his son hanging in the bedroom on March 7 this year and had desperately tried to revive him. He had knocked on his son's door at around 9 p.m. after assuming that he had been in the room with his girlfriend. After 10 minutes, he opened the door to find that the light was still on and his son was hanging from the ceiling.
The inquest heard that Macauley, a plumbing supervisor, had split up with his girlfriend in January, a few weeks before he took his own life. The couple had met outside his home so he could give her the spare key to her car. This happened just three hours before he hung himself.
His ex-girlfriend read a statement outside the court saying: "We ended on good terms - we hugged hard before he went back in the house. He said he wasn't having a good day. I said was that with work, and he said, 'no' in himself. But if I had believed he would have gone on to do what he did, then I wouldn't have let him be alone and would have stayed with him."
The inquest also heard how the 21-year-old had "planned" his impending death but had not left a note behind. Lisa, who was supported by her sister and her son's grandparents, told the court through a statement that the family had not taken Macauley's death very well. She said: "Martin told me he found it difficult to get up to go work because he had worked all his life to provide for Macauley - and didn't see much point in carrying on. We didn't talk about Macauley's death much but went for walks together. He said he couldn't get the image of Macauley out of his head."
Police officer Jack Taylor said that he had been called the home at 9:30 p.m. the night before Martin's death and said that there had been no evidence that suggested the cause of death was anything aside from suicide. There had been no drugs or alcohol in his blood and the pathologist confirmed that he had died from hanging.
Martin hung himself on April 9 in his son's bedroom. Lisa woke up at 4 a.m. and found her husband was not next to her so she went downstairs and found the door to Macauley's room closed. She could not enter when she tried the door so she called 999. A paramedic forced open the door and tried to revive Martin but was unsuccessful.
Professor Paul Marks, the Hull Senior Coroner, returned the conclusion of suicide in both the son and the father's cases.
He said: "It is clear to me that the tragic death of Macauley had a profound effect on Martin and found this too hard to bring himself to come to terms with. I have no doubt that he [Martin] intended to take his own life."
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