ARTISTIC, hardworking and with a smile that could light up a room. That’s how the parents of the late Joss Clempson will remember their son who tragically took his own life last June.
Sue and Mike Clempson had seen 35-year-old Joss the day before he died at his home in Warwick and knew then that he was troubled and exhausted by a variety of stresses that led to him being prescribed anti-depressant tablets some months earlier.
What they didn’t know was that three weeks before he hanged himself in the kitchen, Joss had asked his GP to halve his medication as he battled to complete exams for an ICT course while continuing to work full time at a foundry where he created wax models to be cast in bronze.
His body was found by his distraught girlfriend, for whom he’d just made a birthday present. Before taking his life he’d also wrapped up another gift for a friend.
Mrs Clempson said: “Like many people today, particularly young men, Joss was struggling to be all things to all men.
“He’d started work at the foundry in his teens, then left to do a sports science degree. He became a successful remedial massage therapist before developing a strain injury and returning to the foundry. Sadly work there dried up and he was very distressed to be laid off.
“It was then he was prescribed anti-depressants but still went on to work as a technician at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School.
“The school valued him and had agreed to pay for an ICT course to further his training when the foundry rang and asked Joss to go back. Instead of letting the ICT course go he decided to complete it in just four months alongside his full-time job. That, along with other worries, proved too much.”
Last Friday assistant deputy coroner Louise Hunt ruled at Leamington magistrates court that Joss had taken his own life.
Mr and Mrs Clempson, who are still upset about the mistakes in communication over tissue samples and the results of toxicology tests not being reported - are now hoping to get the whole inquest process scrutinised with a view to improvement. They have already received profuse apologies.
Mrs Clempson said: “Joss was our oldest son and what saddens me is that like many young men, he was not looking at his own needs. In society today we accept cosmetic surgery much more easily than we accept depression. Sometimes young men refuse to go to the GP because they think it’s weak to need help.
“Our son took great enjoyment from his friends and family, from his job, from cycling, playing chess and always trying to help others.
“He was also a real Star Wars fan so Mike and I want to remember him by saying: “May the force be with him.”