A LOVING husband took his own life after a courageous battle with depression and anxiety.

Geoffrey Heys, who worked as a shoe repairer at Burnley’s Charter Walk Shopping Centre, could see no light at the end of the tunnel, an inquest heard.

East Lancashire assistant coroner Richard Taylor ruled Mr Heys’ death was as a result of suicide.

A hearing in Burnley heard how his wife Lesley Heys discovered him hanged at their home in Beresford Street, Nelson, on July 21.

Mr Heys, 63, had struggled with depression and anxiety in the run-up to his death and was given anti-depressants by his doctor and was signed off work sick.

Speaking after the inquest, his tearful wife of 25 years Mrs Heys described him as a bubbly, lovely man who made everyone laugh.

She said: “Geoffrey was just so nice and loving.

“No one had a bad word to say about him.

“He was very popular and much-loved.”

Dr John Howells, consultant radiologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said the medical cause of Mr Heys’ death was hanging.

The inquest heard how Mr Heys had money worries and had threatened to kill himself in the presence of his wife a few days earlier.

The hearing heard that 18 years previously, Mr Heys had tried to kill himself after suffering with manic depression.

The hearing heard how Mr Heys had sought help from Burnley General Hospital and the local crisis team.

Mrs Heys told the hearing how she had desperately tried to allay her husband’s worries about money

She said: “Geoffrey felt like he was up against a black wall and that there was no way of getting over it or light at the end of the tunnel.

“I could see a way out of the problems but he couldn’t see it my way.”

Born in Burnley, Mr Heys had worked as a shoe repairer since the mid-1980s.

Well-known and loved throughout Burnley and Pendle, Mr Heys had worked for himself or Timpson’s at various stages since 1970.

The pair met on September 28, 1988, and married in 1992.

After the inquest, Mrs Heys expressed frustration  at the care her husband had received from the NHS.

She said: “I feel like Geoffrey was let down by the NHS and they did nothing to help him and pushed him aside and dismissed his concerns.”

She was speaking after the inquest heard Mr Heys had several hospital assessments but was allowed to return home as he wasn’t deemed a high enough risk, and had also been visited by the crisis home treatment team.

But Joyce Chew, a crisis practitioner at Lancashire Care’s crisis home treatment team, who visited Mr Heys, said: “Mr Heys spoke to me and said he wasn’t in the same place as he was a few days before

“He’d had thoughts of taking his own life and said he no longer had those thoughts.”

Recording his conclusion, coroner Richard Taylor, said: “Mr Heys died at his home address on July 21 having suspended himself by the neck.”