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He Left Behind a Tragic Note

A heartbroken father hanged.himself after he became embroiled in a bitter tug-of love battle over his five-year-old-daughter.

Construction business owner, Christopher Brown, 26, had been due to face court and was initially warned he faced jail after he broke a court order banning him from contacting the child’s mother.

On March 26 Mr Brown was found dead.at his home he shared with his mother and stepfather in South Shore.

Mr Brown had written a ‘moving’ note, which he left in his bedroom and police discovered his body in a caravan in his parents back garden.

He ran his own construction business, thought to have been named after his daughter, and split up with his daughter’s mother in 2014.

Mr Brown had split up with his daughter's mother in 2014. His daughter and her mother had recently moved 150 miles away to Sunderland leaving him distressed

An inquest heard he became distressed about not having access to his daughter who had moved 150 miles away. He was subsequently been prescribed antidepressants by his GP.

During the legal dispute, Mr Brown claimed he did not have proper visitation rights and tried to get a ruling in family court.

On New Year’s day Mr Brown posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook saying: ‘Another year another smile, but not for me just for a while.

‘Tears fall I can take some more heartache and heartbreak to see your smile just for a while.

‘I’ll fight for the delight of your comforting touch, soul by soul, tear by tear, next year we will smile without fear. I love you baby girl. Daddy misses you so much.’

In February Mr Brown was detained and kept in police cells after breaching a protection and harassment order made against his ex-partner following a FaceTime call and was ordered to face court on June 5.

Mr Brown left a 'moving' suicide note in his bedroom.

‘The contact was mainly through Chris’s mum but it was supervised.

‘He was worried about the magistrates at first but then he found out that they were going to call his ex-partner to the court. He was told that things were looking up for him.

‘He had been told he could be looking at six months custodial. But once he had seen his solicitor and found out that she was being called and they had been looking at the evidence on her phone things were looking better for him.

‘But the contact with the daughter that was what I think was his main sources for what happened.’

Mr Cummings added: ‘He started his own business but work was on and off. With it being construction and building, you were always waiting for somebody else to get paid before you got paid.

‘He had a few debts but not a massive amount. In winter time he would sleep in the house and then summer he would go into the caravan.

‘As far as I was aware his medication got stopped in October by the GP.

‘We thought he had been out all day. But to get to the caravan you’ve got to go through the house – he must have been there all day.

‘I didn’t think he would take his own life. There were times when he was really happy and there were other times when he was down. But the day before and the week before there were no signs whatsoever.’

A coroner’s officer report said: ‘Christopher Brown had previously been diagnosed with PTSD. He had attempted to commit.suicide on a number of occasions in the past. He had been prescribed antidepressants. At 8am on March 26 his mother and father left the home address for work.’

His stepfather Anthony Cummings said: 'He started his own business but work was on and off. With it being construction and building, you were always waiting for somebody else to get paid before you got paid'

‘At 4pm the same day, Christopher’s mother went into his bedroom to open the window and he wasn’t in the room then. She said at 10 o’clock she went back into the bedroom to close the window when she discovered a note.

Mr Brown had no problems with alcohol or drugs but was diagnosed with PTSD
A close friend of Mr Brown said: 'He was an amazing guy he just didn't get the help he needed'

Mental health worker Helen Black said: ‘On February 13 this year Chris was in police cells after allegations of breaching a protection and harassment.order against his ex-partner.

‘There was an allegation from an ex-partner regarding something to do with Facetime. But he told us he was finished with mental health services. He presented as someone who was quite motivated, speaking about a new business.’

Recording a conclusion of assistant coroner Derek Baker said: ‘This is a very tragic case. He was a hard-working man, he had no problems with.alcohol or.drugs.

‘I don’t doubt it was hard for him to run his own business. I know that he was upset and wasn’t seeing his little girl regularly.

‘It must have been on his mind that he had this pending magistrates’ proceedings, but I accept he wasn’t facing any period in custody and he could have gone through to courts to see his little girl.

‘He wrote a detailed and very moving note indicating his intention. After listening to the evidence of Mr Cummings I don’t think he wanted to be disturbed or for anyone to prevent him.taking his own life.

‘I think he was in the caravan for most of the day and he didn’t want you to know that he was there. This young man has been troubled with mental health problems for many years.

‘I know you offered him the support and the support was there – he was clearly very close to both of you and I don’t think there was anything more you could have done.’

After the hearing, Christopher’s sister, Roxan Brown, said: ‘The struggles of seeing his daughter really affected Chris.

‘The mental health team said they would ring him, but his phone was on him when he went into the sea it was destroyed.

‘Then because of the harassment orders, he was constantly getting his phone taken by the police.

‘It has always been a cry for help – we would know from the messages he would send that he was going to do something.’

A close friend added: ‘He was an amazing guy he just didn’t get the help he needed.’   

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see samaritans.org for details.

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