Felixstowe windsurfer and ‘loving’ father-of-two Garry Aldous dies after battle with mental illness
A “loving” and “caring” father-of-two and passionate windsurfer has died after a short battle with mental ill health, an inquest heard.
Garry Aldous was found by his wife Claire on October 3 last year after hanging himself at his home in Buregate Road, Felixstowe.
The 53-year-old, who was born in Leiston, leaves behind two children, Fletcher and Kelly.
Mr Aldous was at the forefront of the windsurfing movement in the early 1980s and won many junior and senior championship events off the coast at Felixstowe.
He also took part in an ambitious challenge to sailboard across the North Sea and was part of Felixstowe’s sailboard club, working with a team of fellow enthusiasts that eventually built a headquarters on the beach.
The inquest, held at Ip-City Centre in Ipswich yesterday, heard that Mr Aldous suffered a “significant” nervous breakdown in May last year, which caused him to spend time in hospital.
When he returned home, the inquest heard that his “journey to getting well had started”, but he still experienced “severe depressive episodes” and had regular visits from mental health staff.
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On the day of his death, the inquest heard that it was Mr Aldous’ mother and father-in-law’s golden wedding anniversary.
The inquest was told that Mrs Aldous had left for work in the morning and Mr Aldous, who worked as an electrician, went to get his hair cut and spoke about how much he was looking forward to celebrating the event.
Mrs Aldous returned from her work as a dentist receptionist at 1pm to find her husband’s body in the garage.
Reading from a statement provided by Mrs Aldous, Coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “Garry did not intend to die that day.
“He fought all the way through his illness and I’m sure something must have happened to his brain to make him do this, because I know he would never want to do this to me and the children.”
The inquest heard that Mr Aldous had never talked of self-harm or of taking his own life and that his death was “totally unexpected”.
Concluding the inquest, Dr Dean said Mr Aldous had died from “effective suspension while the balance of his mind was disturbed by a mental illness”.
He added: “What is very clear from the evidence is that Garry Aldous was a very loving and caring man with a loving and caring family around him.”