Worlingworth: Inquest told that artist took his own life by stabbing himself in chest

Artist stabbed himself in chest - inquest

AN artist took his own life by stabbing himself in the chest, a coroner has said.

The inquest into the death of Robert Shepperson was held at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 57-year-old, of Chruch Street, Worlingworth, near Framlingham, died on May 24 this year.

Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said there had been a change in Mr Shepperson’s behaviour and he had become more anxious and depressed leading up to his death.

He said: “On the morning of Thursday, May 24 his wife, Wendy, had woken up after Robert had leapt out of bed and went downstairs.

“He was cold when she found him on the sofa and he was holding a kitchen knife to his chest. His wife tried to administer first aid and called the ambulance service.”

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The cause of death was a massive hematoma caused by a stab wound to the chest, the inquest was told.

Recording his verdict that Mr Shepperson took his own life, Dr Dean said: “It does seem by the extreme nature of that self inflicted attack that he understood and intended the actions.”

Mr Shepperson was a renowned artist and photographer and also a keen gardener.

His artistic skills were frequently used in the village - he helped produce the Worlingworth Wayfinder map and he had been due to take pictures for the Diamond Jubilee.

Mr Shepperson, who exhibited his artwork in towns and villages across mid-Suffolk, was also involved with St Mary’s Church, Worlingworth, which he would open and close on a daily basis.

In 2010 he was given the Worlingworth Silver Jubilee Challenge Trophy, which has been awarded to recognise villagers’ dedication since 1977.

He also donated photographs to the Worlingworth Village Recorder project and a book, entitled Worlingworth Past and Present.

A tributes book was opened at St Mary’s Church to allow members of the community to remember him.