Herstmonceux man died from gunshot wound, inquest hears.

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A man who died from a gunshot wound to the head was receiving treatment for bipolar and depression, an inquest has heard.

Peter Evans took his own life in an outbuilding at his house in West End, Herstmonceux on February 24, 2014.

The inquest, held at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on October 16 heard how the 64-year-old had been battling mental health issues for a number of years. In the months leading up to his death, Mr Evans was receiving treatment at The Priory in Hove and was due for an appointment with a consultant psychiatrist on the evening of February 24. However, his body was discovered at around 4.30pm by a neighbour who had started searching for Mr Evans following a frantic phone call from his wife, who had returned home to find him missing. Police were called and found Mr Evans with a single gunshot wound to his head from a shotgun that he held a licence to own, the inquest heard.

Mr Evans, a garage proprietor by trade who was described as ‘active, fit and confident’ by his wife Kimberley Minto, was referred to a consultant psychiatrist after struggles to find a suitable medication to tackle his depression. He was taking a regular dose of lithium to try and manage his bipolar disorder. He spent three weeks in The Priory, where his condition improved to the extent he was socialising and engaging in activities before his discharge on January 31. It was mentioned that Peter should return as an outpatient following his discharge but it was considered to be too far to travel for one-day activities and he was reluctant to spend another stay in the specialist hospital. It was acknowledged during the inquest that psychiatrists could have done more in the way of an after-care plan to ensure the progress Mr Evans made during his stay was maintained.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a conclusion that Mr Evans took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.