A Coventry man who lost everything during the Covid pandemic moved to Cornwall with the intention of taking his own life.

Chris Ansell, 31, was described by his mum Jackie as "such a good person" but things had got on top of him during Covid and problems with his mental health.

He had been earning good money as a gas engineer and had set himself up in his own business but it had collapsed when Covid hit and the work dried up.

He had sold his "beautiful" home and moved down to Cornwall to, he told people, live and find work - but his journal revealed that he actually intended to take his own life in a place that he loved holidaying in.

He had moved down to Cornwall in December 2021 intending to live and work in St Ives and was living in the Travelodge at Tolvaddon.

On January 7, 2022 his body was discovered in his room at around 10.20am by housekeeper Nina Roberts while she was checking to see if guests had left or wanted to renew their bookings. He had hanged himself.

Traces of cocaine were found in the room which was also found in his bloodstream along with methadone and two painkillers.

Emergency services were called but there was nothing they could do and he was declared deceased at the scene.

His GP in Coventry Dr Edward Cohen said that Mr Ansell first presented with mental health problems in the summer of 2017 but had taken time off work and had seemed better. However he had a brief relapse in 2018 and again had taken time off work, but had not sought support since 2020.

His partner Louise Evans said Chris was in a dark place but they would speak on the phone daily whilst she was out walking her dogs. But she became panicked and concerned when she couldn't get hold of him and he didn't return her messages on January 6. On January 7, Mr Ansell's sister Beth contacted her and told her her brother had died.

"I loved Chris," she said. "He sometimes got himself involved in things he shouldn't have but he was only human."

The inquest heard Chris met two friends in St Ives on the evening of January 6 and they were probably the last people to see him alive. CCTV showed him returning to his room alone.


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His mother Jacqueline Ansell said her son was a clever lad who was good at every sport he put his hand to, especially tennis and rugby. He was a gas engineer who liked nice things and worked really hard to get them. She said he had decided to move to St Ives because he had friends there.

He had a passion for miniature Dachshund dogs and he had two of his own which were now being looked after by her.

She said he had a lot of friends, as indicated by the number of people who turned up at the crematorium. "It was amazing," she said.

A journal handed into the police by his sister Beth documented Mr Ansell's struggles with drug abuse.

In it Mr Ansell said he had come to St Ives with the intention of ending things and wanted to end his final days in a place he classed as home.

Recording a verdict of suicide, assistant coroner for Cornwall Emma Hillson said Mr Ansell had problems with his business which was further impacted by Covid along with a history of depression and anxiety and had issues with drugs.

She noted the obvious outpouring of love for Mr Ansell.

Speaking after the inquest, his mother Jacqueline said: "He was such a good person. He was always awkward like me. Him and Beth were like two peas in a pod. We all had the same personality.

"Before things got like this Chris was such a decent, genuine person. I don’t want people to remember him as he got towards the end. He was a good loyal, loving person.

"It is heartbreaking what happened. I loved him so much. Just when you talked about the drugs I found it so hard. A few years ago he used to tell me off for smoking

"It’s just a bad world we live in and I hope no one else has to go through this."

If you need to talk to someone for any 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.