An Asda worker found deceased in the supermarket where he was employed had been there for three days, an inquest heard. When Phillip Huntley’s body was discovered by a colleague, the police were summoned to the shop, leading to the evacuation of customers and a one-day closure. At the time, the authorities confirmed that the 55-year-old man’s death was not being treated as suspicious. Now, a coroner has determined that Mr. Huntley intended to take his own life and recorded a conclusion of death by suicide. She was informed that the father of one was awaiting an appointment to address depression and anxiety at the time of his death.
Emma Hillson, assistant coroner for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, was briefed on how Mr. Huntley was “let down” by cutbacks in mental health services and “could not believe” the wait time was within the target. Phillip’s father, Huw Huntley, informed the inquest that he felt his son should have been deemed high risk by doctors and expressed dissatisfaction with GPs’ ability to assess how at risk patients were based on a phone call.
Mr. Huntley, who worked at the Asda in Bodmin, Cornwall, for 17 years, was discovered at the supermarket on May 4, according to Plymouth Live. He had last clocked in for work on Monday, May 1, three days before he was found dead, and this was the last time he was seen on CCTV footage. Colleagues reported him leaving early on that day, prompting Mr. Huntley’s line manager to make a welfare call, but there was no answer.
Further concerns arose when Mr. Huntley did not show up for work the following morning, Tuesday, May 2. An employee went to his house to check on him, but he was not there. The following two days were Mr. Huntley’s days off. His body was discovered by a shaken colleague in the staff wellness room, which was rarely used, on Thursday, May 2. The inquest revealed that Mr. Huntley had been signed off work with depression twice in the six months leading up to his death—once at the end of 2022 and again in March. He had a 25-year history of mental health issues and had been diagnosed with depression since 2007.