Tragic last words of Fylde coast dad: "I have suicidal thoughts... I've laid awake and planned what I'm going to do"

A desperate Fylde coast dad sought help before taking his own life in a cloud of depression.

Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 12:09 pm
Shaun Winstanley celebrates 15 years at Tesco

Shaun Winstanley, 49, suffocated himself at his Queen’s Drive home in Staining some time between February 11 and February 13 last year.

He had plunged into a deep depression after being held at gunpoint in an armed robbery at Tesco Express, Highfield Road, where he worked, in May 2018.

Despite seeking help, he was later fired for leaving his till to chase a shoplifter.

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Shaun with his son Liam

Now, one year on from his tragic death. his daughter Siobhan Winstanley, 28, has decided to share her father’s final recorded words with the world.

She said: “People say talk about your mental health, get help, but at the moment there’s so little funding - it’s not good enough. For mentally ill people, it can feel like there’s nothing out there.”

In an emotional 40-minute telephone conversation with an occupational therapist provided by Tesco, Shaun said: “I have had suicidal thoughts to the point where I’ve laid awake at night and planned what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it, and made a list of who it would affect if I did that.”

In the recording, Shaun, a dad of three, describes his depression, his feelings of hopelessness and disappointment that he had to wait 11 weeks for a phonecall.

Shaun at the Pleasure Beach

He said: “I’m nervous around people. My trust has gone in anybody. I cant trust anyone now. I’ve been having flashbacks, not being able to sleep.

“I’m probably quite a confident, outgoing person, but it’s gone totally the other way. I don’t go out with friends any more.

“I would describe myself at the moment as lonely. I’ve separated myself from a lot of people because there’s no trust there and I don’t feel comfortable being out with groups of people. Social life’s probably non-existent at the moment.

“Even on days where I’m starting work at 3pm, I’m up at six because I can’t sleep very well, and nothing is getting done.

“I might have 10 jobs here that haven’t got completed because I cant get motivated and organised.”

He added: “I bottle things up. I might nip to the loo and I might be in tears. There’s been a number of occasions where that’s happened.”

Shaun was last seen by a neighbour around midday on February 11 last year.

On the night of February 13, one of his friends became worried about him, as he had not seen him in several days, and went to his house.

After knocking on the door and receiving no response, he called 999 and police forced entry to the property and found Shaun dead in the living room.

In memory of her dad, Siobhan, a carer, now hopes to raise £500 for the Mental Health Foundation by abseiling 165ft down the Forth Bridge, across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland.

She said: “The first time I listened to the recording I was heartbroken. I couldn’t listen to it to the end. You can hear in his voice that he’s a broken man.

“It has changed me as a person. I was angry and upset. Now I’m still angry and upset, but I’m more focused. I’m just one person and there might not be a lot I can do, but if I can help just one person, they are not going to end up like my dad did.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Shaun Winstanley was a long-standing colleague who had many friends in our business. We worked closely with him to provide dedicated support and counselling. Our thoughts remain with his family. Good mental health is extremely important and we want all our colleagues to have the confidence and frameworks in place to safeguard their mental wellbeing. We provide a range of support to colleagues, including confidential counselling and occupational health services.”

Siobhan’s fundraiser can be found online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/siobhan-winstanley.