Troubled man had been trying to get his life back on track, inquest is told

Stephen Hipkins
Stephen Hipkins
Have your say

A man found dead in the grounds of a Portsmouth psychiatric hospital had spoken about how he wanted to get his life back on track, an inquest heard today.

Stephen Hipkins, 28, was found hanging in the grounds of St James’ Hospital on January 27 last year.

An inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall heard that Mr Hipkins had been living in Great Yarmouth for about four years, but came back to Portsmouth to escape an abusive relationship.

The court has also heard that Mr Hipkins suffered from depression, from alcohol problems, had previously self harmed and had expressed suicidal thoughts.

But his mother Tina McCair said that her son was attempting to get his life back.

She said: ‘He lived away for about four years and had a girlfriend.

‘She used to take his money for drugs and he decided to come back to Portsmouth.’

Mr Hipkins came back to the city in December 2012, and moved into shared accommodation.

Ms McNair added: ‘He came back (to Portsmouth) and had got himself a flat.

‘Being his mum I could see there was something wrong with him.

‘You just know your own children and he seemed down and withdrawn.

‘When you asked him if he was okay, he would say yes, but he wasn’t.

‘He just wanted to get on with his life.

‘He said he wanted to get better and get his life back.

‘I used to see him everyday.’

The court heard how Mr Hipkins went to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, with superficial cuts and drunk a litre of vodka.

He then said he wanted help and he was admitted informally under the care of Solent NHS Trust.

He became a voluntary patient in the Hawthorns Ward, in The Orchards Unit, on January 21, last year.

Dr Ahmed Hadi is a locum consultant psychiatrist for Solent NHS Trust, and assessed Mr Hipkins on January 22.

Mr Hadi said that Mr Hipkins did not want to go back to Great Yarmouth and wanted help.

Mr Hipkins was found at about 10pm on January 27, in the grounds of St James’s Hospital. A police officer found a note in Mr Hipkins’ pocket which said: ‘mum it had to be this way, can’t deal with my life no more. Love you. PS Steve.

The inquest continues.