IT worries led to National Trust worker's suicide

A CARETAKER at the National Trust's Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Estate hanged himself amid worries over handling the job's computer system, an inquest was told yesterday.

Simon Rogers, 44, became depressed because he could not cope with the increasing role of technology in his job and the modern world, the hearing at Harrogate Magistrates Court was told.

Coroner Geoff Fell said Mr Rogers, who lived in staff accommodation at Fountains Hall, near Ripon, had left notes which indicated his intentions. Tests had shown he had consumed two-and-a-half-times the drink-drive limit before dying.

Derek Hall, the Trust's senior caretaker on the estate, had known Mr Rogers for 20 years – initially when they worked together at nearby Lightwater Valley leisure park until made redundant. He described Mr Rogers, a father of two daughters, as a happy-go-lucky kind of man.

But the caretaker had be-come concerned with negative aspects of life. He had been receiving treatment for depression which Mr Hall said arose from the fact that Mr Rogers could not cope with computers on which estate staff were more and more reliant every working day.

Mr Fell said it was clear Mr Rogers was drinking more than he should. His relationship had broken up and he was clearly having difficulty coping with that as well as with ''the modern world we live in'', he added.

Recording a verdict that Mr Rogers took his own life, Mr Fell added: ''It is apparent from the notes he left that while he cared a great deal about his family and friends he was desperately unhappy.''