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Lorry fanatic Paul Loveridge had warned of plan to take his own life

By Ed McConnell

A haulage enthusiast gassed himself in a shipping container just feet away from the “labour of love” lorry he was restoring with his father.

Paul Loveridge took his own life after breaking up with his long-term partner, who he lived with in Canada for more than a decade, and learning a close friend and his father were ill.

The 52-year-old, who used to live in Allington and ran haulage company L J Loveridge & Son with his father Leonard, moved back to Kent but became increasingly ill.

Paul Loveridge took his own life at Yalding
Paul Loveridge took his own life at Yalding

He and his father managed to track down and buy his first lorry, a Volvo Globetrotter FH16, in a scrap yard and started renovating it.

They were just a lick of paint off completing the project at the time of Mr Loveridge’s death.

The former Maplesden Noakes pupil, who suffered from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and feared he was bipolar, repeatedly told doctors and mental health specialists of his intention to kill himself.

But he always said he wouldn’t do it until the lorry was finished or his savings ran out.

However, an inquest at Archbishop’s Palace, Maidstone, heard things changed when he discovered the love of his life for 28 years had a new partner.

He told Louise Barrow from New Romney Counselling Service and GP Dr Farida Latif, both of whom he’d been visiting regularly, that he planned to kill himself in two days. Both women passed this information on.

The NHS’s Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team (CRHT) tried to contact Mr Loveridge and police and his family joined the search for him before his body was found at a farm in East Farleigh on Friday, April 22.

Mr Loveridge was allocated a care coordinator, but due to a breakdown in communications the pair never met.

Assistant coroner Katrina Hepburn, who gave a verdict of suicide, said changes have been made to make it easier for the CRHT to be contacted out of hours.

Speaking after the hearing his sister Carrie Lewsey said: “Paul loved his lorries from a very young age and his dogs. Everything revolved round the lorries, sadly until the day he died.

“We just hope our story can help other families having to go through similar circumstances, meaning they will not have to suffer like we are knowing that he was let down by the people that should have helped him. Instead he felt he couldn’t go on because he didn’t have the right treatment.”

If you would like confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans free on 116 123 at any time.

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