Dad who was ‘always smiling’ took own life after being diagnosed with debilitating illness

A man who was abused as a child and who suffered from mental health problems tragically took his own life.

Dad-of-two Ian Grice, who was described as “always smiling”, was found dead in the water underneath a viaduct on April 26, 2021, and his body was recovered by the fire and rescue service.

Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard how Christine Caddle was walking her dog that morning past the Conisbrough Viaduct in Doncaster, when she noticed a bottle of Lucozade and a packet of empty tablets and said: “I thought someone must have done something silly.”

South Yorkshire Police arrived at the scene but after they failed to find anything, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service went into the water and recovered his body, Yorkshire Live reports.

Coroner Louise Slater heard evidence that Mr Grice had suffered a difficult and troubled life.

In a statement read to the court his mother Glenda Hughes said as well as Ian she had six sons and a daughter. She said he had gone into foster care and she had supervised visits to see him until he was 16-years-old.

She said: “He went to prison and tried to end his life multiple times. When he was five or six years old he was abused. I didn’t know about this until seven years ago.”

She explained that in 2020 his mental health deteriorated massively and said he “could see the devil in his bedroom. Ian and I didn’t get on very well as his temper was short.” But she said: “he always had a cheeky smile and normally he was a very happy man, always smiling and making silly noises. To this day we can’t believe he has gone.”

His partner at the time of his death, Chloe Scragg, said she had known him for 14 years and said: “He seemed OK until 2018 when he and his partner split up and he was told he would be in a wheelchair in 10 years’ time as he had fibromyalgia.”

She said that in September 2020 he went to prison and told her he tried to kill himself two to three times. But she said: “Nothing he did over the last few days indicated he was suicidal.”

Mrs Slater heard a wealth of evidence about the efforts of mental health professionals to help him and was told that he had an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

And Rhianna Williams, the investigating officer for South Yorkshire Police, said a search of his mother’s home at the time of his death revealed two suicide notes written in January 2021 which implied the intention of taking his own life and what he would like his children to become in the future.

A journal was also discovered in which the last two entries recorded how much he loved his family and confirmed that he wished to end his life.

Mrs Slater said that on April 26 his mother found he had left his wallet and other possessions at his home. She said she was satisfied that he was on top of the viaduct that day and had taken his own life from him.

She said the fibromyalgia diagnosis must have been devastating. She added: “I appreciated he was concerned about his future of him and living with such a debilitating illness and that went hand-in-hand with his mental health state of him and he was fearful about the future and becoming a burden to those he loved.”

Where to get help if you’re struggling

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email [email protected], in confidence

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill

Platform 1 men’s community group: Support for issues including mental health problems and addiction recovery. Visit the website or call 01484 421143.

Andy’s Man Club:[email protected]

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organization supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Mind: A charity offering support and advice for people with mental health problems.

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have a low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit

BullyingUK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. click here

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. There’s a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

MindOut: Provide support and advice on mental health for members of LGBTQ communities. Phone 01273 234839

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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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