Wor­ries over break-up led po­lice of­fi­cer to kill him­self

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

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.

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