Family’s tribute to tragic care worker

GRIEVING family members of a care worker found dead in a wooded area have paid tribute to a “kind lad” of whom they “thought the world.”

An inquest into the death of Shaun Alcock, 38, of Bury St Edmunds, yesterday heard he walked out of his home in Sheerwater Close and was discovered by a walker two days later in a woodland area off Appledown Drive.

The inquest, in Bury, was told Mr Alcock’s wife Sabrina assumed her husband had simply popped out for a walk. But, as the hours went by, her concern for his welfare grew and she reported the matter to the police.

Summarising Mrs Alcock’s statement, Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “When he left the home at about 7pm on July 8 she was not concerned. She thought he had just gone out for a walk. Sadly, she did not see him again.”

Dr Dean recorded a verdict that Mr Alcock, who had worked at The Pines care home in nearby Fornham, had taken his own life. He said: “This was not a cry for help. Shaun Alcock understood and intended the consequences of his actions. Clearly there was no expectation at the time about what he was about to do.”

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Mr Alcock’s body was spotted by Thomas Ambler, who was on his way to meet friends.

In his statement, Mr Ambler described the moment he climbed over a fence and saw the body. “I didn’t expect to see anybody and I was a bit startled by what I thought I saw,” he said.

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The inquest was told Mr Alcock had previously tried to take his own life and had been seen by a community mental health team.

Pathologist Dr Sheila Purdy found that Mr Alcock had died of asphyxia due to hanging.

After the inquest, Mr Alcock’s father Richard said: “We obviously thought the world of him. He was a kind lad and he was a very worried lad. But he had good times. He played his cards very close to his chest and he did not want to worry anybody else.”

He said the family had done everything possible to support him during his bleaker moments.

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