A man depressed after the break-up of a relationship took his own life with a nail gun, an inquest has heard.

Joseph Bratt, 54, was found dead in the caravan he lived in at the Boscrege Caravan and Camping Park near Helston on March 3, 2020.

The virtual inquest heard that Mr Bratt had moved down to Cornwall in 2016 with his wife Debbie.

In a statement read out by Acting Senior Coroner Andrew Cox, his daughter Samantha Bratt said her parents divorced when she was very young but he had remarried.

Twelve years ago he had had a stroke and was in and out of hospital. Prior to that he'd never had a day off work. "He couldn't carry on working and it knocked his confidence," she said.

She said in May 2019, he and his wife Debbie divorced. She said the divorce was fairly amicable and her dad moved to his caravan at Boscrege Caravan and Camping Park, Ashton near Helston. She moved to Helston in July 2018 to be closer to him.

"Dad was the kindest man you could ever meet, he was truly selfless and would do anything for anybody," she said. "Since the divorce though he was quite lonely."

She said she was expecting her dad to arrive at her house with some washing on March 5, 2020. She became increasingly concerned when he didn't turn up or answer his phone that after work she went round to his caravan.

The lights were off and his car was there. When she went to let herself in the chain was across the door.

Worried he'd had another stroke, she went to get the owner of the site Susie Holmwood, who broke in.

"Susie literally pulled the door off and we both went inside. I saw a 'do not enter' sign. Susie went into the bedroom. When she came out she said we have to call the police.

"She said she didn't think an ambulance would be necessary. I completely broke down at that point. We called the police who told us to evacuate the caravan immediately."

She said her father knew he was well loved and there was no indication he wanted to end his own life.

A post-mortem found the cause of death was a penetrating chest injury from a nail gun wound to the chest, with other non-lethal injuries to his head and left arm.

A report from his GP surgery said Mr Bratt suffered from severe back pain. He was low in mood and on anti-depressants.

Several notes were found in the caravan including a suicide note.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Cox said death was caused by a penetrating chest injury.

He said Mr Bratt was described as lonely and depressed following a relationship breakdown and that he died from his own actions.

"The caravan was locked with a chain across the door and a nail gun at the scene," he said.

"Joe's notes show his intent to take his own life and I am satisfied that he has taken his own life and intended to do so."

If you need to talk to someone about the strain of the pandemic, or for any other reason, there are people to reach out to:

  • Shout: Shout is a free, confidential, anonymous service for anyone in the UK. It won’t appear on your phone bill. To start a conversation, text the word 'SHOUT' to 85258.
  • Samaritans: Call day or night for free on 116 123. 
  • Mind: Get short and longer term support in a mental health crisis by visiting www.mind.org.uk 

If you feel like your life is at risk right now or you need urgent medical help call 999 and ask for an ambulance or go straight to A&E if you can.