A father hanged himself less than a month after his own son took his life in the same way.
Macauley Leonard, 21, took his own life in his bedroom earlier this year and less than four weeks later his father Martin, 48, killed himself in the same room.
Mr Leonard told his wife how his son’s face was haunting him before he took his own life at their home, court heard.
The double inquest into the two tragic deaths heard how Macauley had become withdrawn after he decided to take a break from his long-term girlfriend, and that his father struggled to come to terms with losing his son.
Lisa, the 21-year-old’s mother and Mr Leonard’s wife, said she had bought the herbal remedy anti-depressant St John’s Wort and believed it had a positive effect.
Delivering an emotional statement at the hearing, she said: ‘Macauley was our world, he was our only boy.’
Mr Leonard had tried to revive his son after finding him in his bedroom on March 7 this year.
He had knocked on his son’s door at around 9pm and assumed he was in the room with his girlfriend. Around 10 minutes later he went in after seeing his bedroom light was on, only to find his son Macauley.
The plumbing supervisor had recently decided to split with his long-term partner in January this year, just a few weeks before he took his own life, the inquest heard.
They had met outside his home so he could hand over a spare key oto her car just three hours before he took his own life.
In a statement read out in court, his ex-girlfriend said: ‘We ended on good terms – we hugged hard before he went back in the house.
‘He said he wasn’t having a good day. I said was that with work, and he said, ‘no’ in himself.
‘But if I had believed he would have gone on to do what he did, then I wouldn’t have let him be alone and would have stayed with him.’
The inquest heard how Macauley had ‘planned’ his suicide but did not leave a note.
His mother, who was supported by her sister and Macauley’s grandmother and grandfather at the inquest, told the court via her statement the family had taken the death of Macauley hard.
She said: ‘Martin told me he found it difficult to get up to go work because he had worked all his life to provide for Macauley – and didn’t see much point in carrying on.
‘We didn’t talk about Macauley’s death much but went for walks together.
‘He said he couldn’t get the image of Macauley out of his head.’
Police officer Jack Taylor said he was called to the family’s home at 9.30pm. He said there was no evidence to suggest any other cause of death other than suicide.
There was no alcohol or drugs found in Macauley’s system and the pathologist confirmed he died of hanging.
On April 9 this year, Martin took his own life in Macauley’s room. His wife Lisa woke at 4am to find her husband not next to her and went downstairs to find the door to her son’s room closed.
She tried the door and when she could not enter called Emergency. A paramedic broke down the door and tried to save his life but was unsuccessful.
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
- LIFELINE: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au . Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- If you or anyone you know needs to talk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)