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Government lawyer killed himself, coroner finds

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A Welsh government lawyer whose job included writing Covid laws killed himself after struggling with work pressure and pandemic lockdowns, an inquest heard.

Owain Vaughan Morgan, 44, had not suffered depression until 2020, Pontypridd Coroners' Court was told.

He was found in woodland in April 2021 after being reported missing.

His wife Catherine said he had a tendency to worry but that his personality was "calm and collected."

She described him as a "family person" who enjoyed reading, being outdoors and going for walks.

The hearing was told that in January 2020, Mr Morgan was promoted to his first managerial role as a lawyer with the Welsh government.

It heard that he found the job difficult and stressful with long hours.

He struggled to work from home when the pandemic started. This resulted in him having a nervous breakdown in May 2020, experiencing panic attacks and shaking at his computer.

Mr Morgan was prescribed anti-depressants and signed off work.

His GP, Huw Davies, detailed how over several months Mr Morgan's mental health was monitored and he was given support, including being signposted to cognitive behavioural therapy.

His mental health reached crisis point on February 23, 2021, when he made an attempt on his own life.

That day he was admitted to University Hospital Llandough.

Mr Morgan's psychiatrist, Dr Anne-Marie Dunsby, noted that he struggled with thoughts he was a burden to his family and not good enough.

He worried occupational health would find him unfit to go back to work and about the financial consequences if he lost his job, the inquest heard.

After being discharged from hospital Mr Morgan's mental health worsened.

On April 13 last year his wife reported him missing to police after he left home that morning.

She said he waved at her as she watched him through the window, adding that he "seemed normal" and no different than usual.

After a search, Mr Morgan was found dead the next day in woods in Lisvane, Cardiff.

Coroner Gaynor Kynaston told the court Mr Morgan had "acute" mental health problems related to work stress and low self-esteem.

She recorded a conclusion of suicide.

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