A 22-YEAR-OLD Westbury man who refused the help of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) on several occasions went on to commit suicide, a coroner has ruled.

Leo Kovacs was found dead at his home on Brabant Way, Westbury, on May 9, 2016, three days after his grandmother, Eva, had called AWP raising concerns about his mental health.

Salisbury Coroner’s Court on Wednesday (November 30) heard how Mr Kovacs' mother had been killed in a train accident in 2014 and that he then lived alone with his dog, Albie, in Westbury.

Mr Kovacs' dog died on May 5 and according to a statement read to the court from his uncle, Peter, he “couldn’t bear to lose the dog”.

On May 9, Mr Kovacs' uncle visited the house and after looking through the letterbox of the locked door, saw his nephew's body in the hallway.

A port-mortem found that he had died as a result of hanging and that although he did have alcohol and drugs in his system this would have been at a “therapeutic level and not an overdose”.

Dr Toby Sutcliffe, a consultant psychiatrist, had visited Mr Kovacs on several occasions and described how he had first come to the attention of the AWP in August 2014 due to his alopecia, which had affected his self-esteem.

He said a number of visits were made to Mr Kovacs' house by the mental health partnership team, but he refused to work with them.

Dr Sutcliffe said: “He was quite forceful that he did not want mental health intervention. There wasn’t a concern it would escalate into anything more than that.

“He didn’t want mental health involved and he had the capacity to do that.”

A visit was made to Mr Kovacs' house in September 2015 where he appeared “cheerful” and “he didn’t show signs of depressive illness”, according to Dr Sutcliffe.

As a result he was discharged from the mental health team who were not approached until May 6, when Mr Kovacs' grandmother called, worried about his mental state.

The call was received at 8.20am, and three attempts were made by the Primary Care Liaison (PCL) team to call back. The calls were not answered, and they left a message advising her to contact her GP as the PCL is not designed for people to self-refer. “That was the correct advice,” added Dr Sutcliffe.

Returning a verdict of suicide, assistant coroner Ian Singleton said: “He was referred by his GP to the mental health team but he didn’t want to engage with them, which was his right.”

After the inquest, the AWP issued a statement saying: “We make every effort to reach out to people who do not want to engage with our services in the hope we can provide them with the appropriate support.

“Following any incident, we carry out our own thorough internal investigation and subsequently we are considering ways to further develop communications between teams.”