Worries over break-up led police officer to kill himself
A BIRMINGHAM police officer guarding a nuclear power plant killed himself following the break down of his marriage.
Thirty-three-year-old Andrew Millward was found dead in his bathroom at his home on April 27, this year.
An inquest in Birmingham heard that the Solihull-born officer, of Woodthorpe Road, Kings Heath, had been stationed at the nuclear facility in Harwell, Oxfordshire.
In a statement Chief Insp Stephen Edwards said the day before he died he received a request from Mr Millward for time off on “welfare grounds.”
He said the officer had told him his father was not well and had been taken to hospital.
Insp Edwards said Mr Millward was due to return to work onApril 29.
Police officer Matthew McHugh, who also worked at the Harwell site, said Mr Millward had joined six months before him and had shown him around.
He said because of the shift patterns and antisocial hours it was difficult to socialise and that they had communicated during rest days using a WhatsApp group.
He said that, from texts sent, he learned about his colleague’s difficulties concerning financial arrangements and child custody and “was under the impression that the marriage was over.”
Mr McHugh said he was also told that Mr Millward’s father was in hospital receiving treatment for a heart complaint and his nephew had suspected meningitis.
There was an arranged trip to Paris which Mr Millward still expected to go on with his wife.
The inquest also heard that the officer had seen a counsellor between June and August last year after experiencing depression and with a history of self-harm.
His mood improved as a result but he started having more sessions just before his death during which he told the counsellor he believed the relationship with his wife was coming to an end and was having difficulty coming to terms with this.
Assistant Coroner James Bennett said: “The deceased died at his home on April 27. It was known to friends and a counsellor that he was struggling to cope with the break down of his marriage but he had not given any reason to believe he would end his life.”
He returned a verdict of suicide.