Fiancée tells of Worthing builder's suicide horror

THE fiancée of a man who stabbed himself to death sobbed as she recounted the harrowing final moments of his life.

Sally Grigson was at home with her partner of 14 years, 44-year-old Simon Thompson, when he used a knife to stab himself 18 times on June 5 this year.

Miss Grigson told the inquest into his death at Worthing Town Hall how she saw her fiance come out of the toilet with his trousers round his ankles. She saw he had a knife in his hand and had blood all over his chest.

She said: "His face, it didn't look like him. His eyes were, like, strange, and his face was all screwed up. I got up and said 'My God, Simon, what have you done?'"

She went on to say she asked him what he was doing, and he said "Sally, I can't take any more". She explained how she tried to grab the blade from him, but could not.

It was heard Mr Thompson then barricaded himself in the bathroom, while Miss Grigson ran outside in a "panic" to call an ambulance. Mr Thompson was taken to Worthing Hospital but died from his injuries later that day.

Just minutes before he took his own life, Miss Grigson said her fiance had told her he loved her and had given her a cuddle.

Mr Thompson, a self-employed builder and decorator, had previously suffered a break-down and was treated in a psychiatric hospital for a month for clinical depression.

But the court heard he had made a full recovery and had been free from symptoms since 1995.

Mr Thompson had proposed to Miss Grigson on the morning they left for a holiday in Devon, just days before he died.

The inquest heard on the last day of that trip, Mr Thompson seemed distant and insisted the couple went home a day early.

When they arrived back in Worthing, Miss Grigson said he broke down in tears when his family were not there waiting for him. She said he realised it was an unusual reaction but did not know why he felt that way.

She told the coroner she asked Mr Thompson if he felt as ill as he had when he suffered the breakdown, but he told her no, as this time he did not feel like killing himself.

He did, however, admit to her he did not want to see a doctor as he was concerned he would not be allowed to leave the surgery.

Mr Thompson's downstairs neighbour, Keith Langridge, had chatted with him the day before he died.

In a statement, he said Mr Thompson told him he was having panic attacks and had been crying in his flat. Mr Langridge added: "At no time did he state he would harm himself."

Pathologist Dr Iain Morrison conducted a post mortem examination on Mr Thompson.

He said one stab wound in particular, which had hit Mr Thompson's heart, was the most likely cause of his death, but that there were three particularly serious and deep stab injuries to his chest.

He described most of the other wounds as "superficial".

Deputy coroner for West Sussex, Martin Milward, recorded a verdict that Mr Thompson killed himself while the balance of his mood was disturbed.

Referring to Mr Thompson's comment to Miss Grigson before he locked himself in the toilet, Mr Milward said: "These actions are indicative of somebody who did mean to harm himself very seriously."

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