A father killed himself with poison he bought on the internet after his daughter’s stillbirth triggered years of mental health problems, an inquest has heard.
Lee Ocean, 39, was found dead by his sister, Kelly Lincoln, at his home in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on January 10 last year.
A virtual inquest at Winchester Coroner’s Court yesterday concluded that Mr Ocean died by suicide.
Mr Ocean was described as being a ‘loving and committed’ person who ‘cared for his family and friends’. His sister said he spent his time making others smile and laugh.
Ms Lincoln added: ‘He was outgoing, he was the life and soul of the party. He was fearless. He was not afraid to be the odd one out and do crazy things.’
Lee Ocean (pictured), 39, was found dead by his sister, Kelly Lincoln, at his home in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on January 10 last year
In 2013, Mr Ocean’s daughter was stillborn at 39 weeks in what was described as being one of the ‘greatest tragedies’ of Mr Ocean’s life.
Ms Lincoln said: ‘He adored the idea of being a father and at the time it broke his heart, but he still managed to keep going for his partner at the time.’
Mr Ocean dedicated his time to helping others and organising events for children, despite his struggle with mental illness.
In 2015, Mr Ocean completed five marathons in five days to raise money for Sands and Tommy’s, two charities that support people affected by the death of a baby.
He was an events planner for Sebastian Action Trust, and then worked for Basingstoke and Deane Disability Forum.
Five days before his death, the inquest heard that Mr Ocean had run a children’s sporting event at Basingstoke Sports Centre.
Ms Lincoln said: ‘Lee was committed to making a difference to improve children’s lives.
A virtual inquest at Winchester Coroner’s Court (pictured) yesterday concluded that Mr Ocean died by suicide
‘No matter how hard or horrible his illness was, he was an extremely caring person. When he was determined he could achieve anything he wanted to.’
Mr Ocean had struggled with mental illness since he was a child, the inquest heard.
He was diagnosed with severe depressive illness and by 2016 his mental health had become a concern. Ms Lincoln told the inquest her brother had been living in ‘crisis’.
In June 2017 he shared his plans to end his own life with a psychiatrist after experiencing suicidal thoughts.
He was hospitalised multiple times over the next couple of years and was sectioned in 2019.
Mr Ocean would often hear voices of a young girl and an old man, who would encourage him to self-harm and plan his death.
Ms Lincoln said her brother suffered with insomnia and would at times become ‘fixated and obsessed’ with finding different methods of suicide.
On January 10 last year Ms Lincoln visited her brother’s home after she became concerned for his welfare after he had not opened her messages for two days.
Ms Lincoln said: ‘I was expecting a problem and that he would not be in a well state. I was almost expecting him not to be alive.’
Coroner Jason Pegg told the court that Mr Ocean had ingested a poisonous substance he had ordered online a few days earlier.
Found in Mr Ocean’s flat were notes for his sisters, parents, and friend Simon.
He had also written out a last will and testament, plus a living will that said his wished for no medical intervention.
Ms Lincoln, who attended the virtual hearing with her sister Amy Gardiner and their parents, said the family hoped Mr Ocean’s legacy would be the help he offered people who were struggling to get better.
Ms Lincoln said: ‘Despite Lee suffering until the end, he did not want other people to suffer. We have to hold on to his legacy.
‘There are a lot of NHS resources hat helped Lee, but there are many people who need those resources and it is increasing how many need help.
‘Lee’s legacy would be to help people get well. That is what we, his family, are committed to in his honour.’
For support call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit their website samaritans.org