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Dentist Julian Britt took his own life at his Canterbury home

By Matt Leclere

A dentist described as an amazing and loving dad took his own life in his home after suffering years of paranoia and depression, an inquest heard.

Julian Britt was in a loving relationship and had a daughter who he doted on.

But after a long battle with paranoia and depression, the 48-year-old dentist took his own life at his home in Canterbury.

Dentist Julian Britt took his own life at his flat in Canterbury
Dentist Julian Britt took his own life at his flat in Canterbury

Mr Britt, who worked at Northdown Dental Practice in Cliftonville, had suffered issues with his mental health since his mid-20s, the hearing was told.

Canterbury Coroners' Court heard he experienced psychotic episodes "out of the blue" after finishing medical school.

His partner, Catherine Bourne, told the inquest she had become concerned after not hearing from her boyfriend on the morning of March 14, after talking to him throughout the previous day.

"We texted without fail first thing and at night," she said.

"I suggested meeting for a drink or dinner and he replied 'not tonight, babe'."

The court heard he sent another message later saying he felt he was "not good" for her "at the moment".

Ms Bourne said she messaged him as usual the next day to say good morning but had no reply.

"He was an amazing dad and loved his daughter" - Catherine Bourne

She rushed to his flat, and after receiving no answer alerted neighbour Ian Weir, who broke into the flat and discovered Mr Britt hanging.

Attempts by paramedics to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful.

Ms Bourne described her eight-month relationship with Mr Britt as "loving, fun and supportive", and the pair had a lot in common.

"He was funny and intriguing and I thought he was quirky," she said.

"He did have a serious side to his personality."

Ms Bourne said the couple had discussed Mr Britt's history with mental illness, telling how he had suffered psychotic episodes related to anxiety, paranoia and depression since 2006.

He was referred to mental health teams and had received counselling.

The inquest was heard at Canterbury Magistrates' Court
The inquest was heard at Canterbury Magistrates' Court

The inquest was told he had become increasingly stressed before his death because of his daughter's upcoming exams, work issues and his deteriorating mental health.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, coroner James Dillon said: "The circumstances that led Julian to take that step we have no evidence of.

"There's no note explaining his actions. I would be satisfied Julian took his own life and had the intention to do so."

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Britt's ex-partner, and the mother of his daughter, said: "He was an amazing dad and loved his daughter. He was fun and loved life."

Practice manager, Nicola Ward, described Mr Britt as a "wonderful dentist" who was liked by his patients, adding: "I still find it difficult to write about him in the past tense.

"He was a brilliant dentist and a colleague and friend to us at the practice.

"He is hugely missed by the team and patients alike."

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

For more information on why we cover inquests, click here.

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