Dad-of-two hangs himself before court appearance over domestic violence

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A FATHER-OF-TWO was found hanged just a week before he was due in court over a domestic violence incident.

Andrew Jowitt, 50, had been prescribed anti-depressants only the previous day after his former partner Tracey Sylvester walked out on him when he allegedly assaulted her.

The couple had been trying to get back together but the body of electrical engineer Mr Jowitt was found in the hallway of his five-bedroom home hanging by a karate black belt from the loft.

Miss Sylvester told a Sheffield inquest she had spent most of the day before the tragedy with Mr Jowitt talking over their relationship.

She had known him since 2000 and moved in with him at his bungalow in Helston Crescent, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, in 2007 but left him just before Easter this year.

She told the hearing there were “issues” between them and she had been subject to domestic violence three times at his hands, which had resulted in the police getting involved.

An assault charge was due to be heard at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court on June 13 but they had been talking about a reconciliation for 10 days.

He had been off work for a few weeks with anxiety, stress and difficulty in sleeping.

Miss Sylvester said they went for a walk in the Dearne Valley Country Park and Mr Jowitt talked about depression before saying to her: “Have you ever thought about doing something to yourself.”

He then told her he was “scared” before he reverted to being positive again and talked about how they could make their relationship work.

That evening on the settee he began stroking her eye where she said he had given her a “black eye” at Christmas.

She said: “He said he couldn’t live with what I have done to you.”

She told the hearing: “I just said, ‘I forgive you’.”

She left later on without any concerns. “He had a lot of ideas and suggestions in his head and had worked it all out,” she said.

But Mr Jowitt was found dead at home the next day, June 5, after his daughter Stacey could not get in and phoned the police.

She said he had become depressed after being charged with assault and he was also under stress over buying a house.

“I have never seen my father so down,” she said in a statement. “He said he didn’t want to be living on his own at 50.”

Sheffield coroner Chris Dorries said he had carefully examined the evidence and it was clear Mr Jowitt had suspended himself. “He intended to end his life,” he said.

He recorded a verdict of suicide.