A SON has paid tribute to his late father he described as ‘always having a smile for everyone’, after a coroner ruled he killed himself.
Robert Smith, of New Road, Uttoxeter, died by hanging himself from a tree in Hook Lane, Crakesmarsh, after his body was discovered by a passer-by on October 15.
South Staffordshire Coroner’s Court heard the 58-year-old, who was known as Bob, gave no indication of his intentions to his family but left three notes saying goodbye.
Detective Constable Martin Wildes told the inquest at Burton Town Hall Mr Smith had spent the previous night with family and was planning a break away.
The last known sighting of him was when he dropped his mother off that evening. He was described as being in good spirits.
Next morning, his brother noticed his car was missing from the drive but this was not unusual as he often left for work early.
The body of Mr Smith, who had worked as a welder at JCB for 30 years and was a team leader, was discovered by Dean Barlow the next day.
His X-type Jaguar was found parked nearby and his mobile phone, keys, a picture of his former partner and a torch were on his body.
DC Wildes said three notes, one to his children, mother and former partner, were found at his house.
The inquest heard the father-of-two, who was divorced from his children’s mother, had been in a relationship with Lynne Jones for around nine years but this had recently broken down and he was trying to rekindle the romance.
DC Wildes added there was no indication of foul play or third party involvement.
Pathologist Dr Peter Acland revealed he had no major health problems although he did have an enlarged heart and narrowing of coronary arteries but this would not have been causing him any problems at this time.
He also had only a small amount of alcohol in his system. South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh ruled Mr Smith killed himself as he died from cerebrayl anoxia due to hanging, saying it was apparent he could not take the breakdown of a second major relationship but had not let on how he felt to his family.
Mr Haigh passed on his sincere condolences to the family. After the inquest his son James told the Advertiser: “He was very upbeat which is why it came as such a surprise to everyone. He always had a smile for everyone.”