‘Amazing’ dad, 28, found dead in same cemetery his beloved grandfather was buried in

A man was found dead in the same cemetery where his beloved grandfather was buried, an inquest heard.

The body of Samuel Tuck was found by a member of the public in St Woolos Cemetery in Newport, Wales at around 8am on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Football fan Mr Tuck took his own life not far from the spot where his beloved grandfather was laid to rest.

The discovery saw the cemetery closed and an investigation carried out.

Police later ruled the incident was not suspicious and officers start an investigation on behalf of the coroner.

During an inquest into his death his fiancée Sammy-Joe Stanton said she first noticed his insecurities back in August 2019.

“I found him (once before) at his grandfather’s grave, he had been drinking and said he wanted to take his own life,” she said in a statement.

Sammy-Joe had previously found her partner in the cemetery



She added: “I knew Sam for four-and-a-half years, and we were in a relationship for three years,” a statement from Ms Stanton read.

“He was outgoing, and loved going out with the boys. He loved football, supporting Cardiff City and would travel home and away to support them.

“We both loved going on holiday together, going out for food and going on long walks.”

His inquest was told that as well as having previous mental health problems, the popular father-of-two had found lockdown difficult.

Coroner Caroline Saunders said: “There were no concerns about his behavior over Christmas, but on January 2 his mood changed, and on January 4, Sam took his own life near to where his grandfather was buried in St Woolos cemetery.”

The inquest was told that in December 2020, Mr Tuck, of Moxon Road, Newport, was taken to St Cadoc’s Hospital in Caerleon having experienced suicidal thoughts.

The 28-year-old was seen by two nurse specialists, who agreed that he required ongoing mental health support, but felt he did not need to be admitted to hospital.

Having co-operated with mental health support services, he and his fiancée contracted coronavirus and subsequently isolated together over the Christmas period.

Ms Stanton said that Mr Tuck was in high spirits during this time and enjoying spending time with her and the couple’s son.

However she added that, on January 2, his behavior changed, as he stayed up late and didn’t come to bed with her as he would normally do.

The following day, he was up and dressed and early and insisted they both go on a walk. The hearing was told that during that walk the pair argued.

The dad was found on January 4



Ms Stanton said that, in response to this, she dropped him back at the house, before she returned at around 2.30pm that day.

When she returned home, she saw Mr Tuck driving out of the driveway and “looking right past her.”

Concerned by his behaviour, she then tried to call him, but his phone was switched off.

At around 6.30pm that evening, Mr Tuck called Ms Stanton and told her that he was okay but said that he was going to his parents’ house to give her some space – with Ms Stanton telling the hearing that she thought at the time that this was out of character.

Later that evening, she called Mr Tuck to check up on him, but again couldn’t get through.

He was found dead the next morning.

A police report, read aloud into the record at the inquest, said that around 8.12am on January 4, officers from Gwent Police were alerted to the discovery of a body in the cemetery.

A post-mortem said that his death had been caused by hanging.

The inquest heard that Mr Tuck was born in 1992 and had worked as a painter-decorator since the age of 16. He had one other child from a previous relationship.

It was also told that he had a history of anxiety and depression and had been referred to the local mental health team by his GP.

The inquest also heard that Mr Tuck drank often, and had occasionally used cocaine as a coping strategy, but was otherwise “fit and well”.

Ms Stanton added: “He had help from Mind and Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service and he seemed better because of it.

“He didn’t want to go out drinking with the boys, he wanted to spend time with us.”

But in December 2020, Mr Tuck experienced “a significant downturn” and went to a police station for help after again having thoughts about ending his life.

“That’s when I knew he was really struggling,” said Ms Stanton. “Sam would never go to a police station for help.”

Mr Tuck’s sister also paid tribute to him during the hearing, saying he was a “proud and fantastic dad” and “an absolute natural”.

She added that he had struggled to cope with the death of his grandfather, Ray, in 2007, when he was just 14, having a “very close” relationship with each other and were like “best friends.”

She said that while she loved Mr Tuck, she described his decision to take his own life as a “waste” and said the lives of everyone who loved him would never be the same.

“It has left two children without a dad,” her statement said.

Concluding, Caroline Saunders, senior coroner for Gwent, said: “Sam was a 28-year-old man who was clearly much loved by his family and his two children.

“In 2019, he was referred to the mental health team by his GP because he was experiencing suicidal thoughts.

“This was brought on by anxiety which he then tried to cope with by using cocaine and alcohol. He was advised to engage with GDAS and Mind.

“It appears that Sam found these organizations useful, especially Mind. However, when the country became more established in lockdown, charities found it more difficult to operate and I dare say that the support available to Sam waned.

“Sam felt lockdown difficult. In December 2020, he suffered a significant downturn and had thoughts of ending his life.

“He was taken by police to St Cadoc’s Hospital where he was seen by two nurse specialists who said he did not need to be admitted to hospital but did need ongoing mental health support.

“He was referred to the mental health team and this was actioned quickly.

“There were no concerns about his behavior over Christmas 2020, but on January 2 his mood changed, and on January 4, Sam took his own life near to where his grandfather was buried in St Woolos cemetery.”

Ms Saunders recorded a conclusion of suicide and extended her condolences to Mr Tuck’s family.

The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email [email protected] or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You matter.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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