Death in Worle Recreation Ground was suicide

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 February 2016

Joe Phillips.

Joe Phillips.


A 20-year-old man who committed suicide in Worle Recreation Ground was ‘full of smiles’ the last time he was seen by his loving mum.

Joe Phillips, of Tamar Road in Worle, died on September 2 last year and an inquest into his death was held at Flax Bourton Coroners Court on Tuesday.

Mr Phillips was found hanged in the recreation ground shortly before 9am, by a woman who was walking her dog.

The court was told he had been his ‘normal jolly self’ in the days leading up to his death, but had talked previously about killing himself.

Mr Phillips grew up in Preanes Green, Worle, with his mum Kayla Brown. He spent a lot of time with his family and friends and his dad Andy also lives in Worle. Mr Phillips had four older brothers, Lee, Kieran, Triston and Matthew.

Speaking to the Mercury at the time of his death, his devastated family described him as a kind and funny son.

They said: “Joe meant so much to so many people.

“He always had time for other people and always with a huge smile on his face.”

The former Priory Community School pupil had been working as a labourer after starting an apprenticeship and he had impressed his co-workers so much he was offered full-time work.

The court was told Mr Phillips had suffered from dyspepsia, and often complained of stomach pains. He had also been referred to North Somerset’s mental health crisis team in 2013 after talking about overdosing, but he did not follow through with treatment.

A statement from Ms Brown was read in court. It said: “He had said many times that he wished he was dead.

“He had always said, if he would kill himself he would hang himself. He mentioned it quite a few times.

“He was told he had mental health issues but never followed up, and did nothing about it.”

Her son visited her at one of his brother’s homes before he died. Her statement said: “He spent the day with me and the boys, he was his normal jolly self.”

He later got the bus home and Ms Brown said: “He was full of smiles as the bus pulled off – that was the last time I saw Joe.”

Assistant coroner Myfanwy Buckeridge recorded a verdict of suicide, and said: “In the days prior to his death he was his joyful self but she (his mother) also said he had said, a number of times, if he was going to kill himself he would hang himself.

“He also complained of stomach problems and that he hated himself and he said that he wished to be dead on several occasions.

“I’m satisfied on the basis of evidence that he did intend to cause his own death.”

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