23-year old ex-soldier commits suicide hours after telling his girlfriend he was going to propose

Former soldier killed himself just hours after telling his girlfriend he was planning to propose.

Macauley Jepson, 23, discharged himself from the Army in April, 2019 after suffering chest pains during physical training.

An inquest heard how Macauley's family had returned from a week-long holiday to find him dead at their home on Arkwright Grove, Sneyd Green, Staffordshire, on August 14 last year.

Macauley - who has a masters degree in sports science and psychology - had lost one of his childhood friends to suicide earlier in the year.


While his mum, dad, younger sister and younger brother had been away on holiday the former Holden Lane High School pupil stayed at his girlfriend's house on August 12.

In a statement, girlfriend Bethany Greenhough said: "We've known each other since we were at sixth form.

"Our relationship was very good, we never had an argument. In terms of mental health he was fine on the whole.

"When he did one of his physical tests in the Army he had a tight chest while he was running and felt like he couldn't breathe. For that reason, having been told the physical training would only get harder, he decided he was going to leave the Army.

"Tests were done by his GP to see if there was any issue with his heart, and all of those tests came back negative."

Bethany last saw Macauley on the morning of Tuesday, August 13 and he text her later that day about his plans to propose.

She said: "The last message he sent me was on the Tuesday at 11pm. He text me during the evening and said 'I hope you know how much I love you'.

"I switched my phone back on after work on the Tuesday and continued to exchange text messages. He sent me a message saying 'I'm the happiest I've been in the last three years'.

"We had a conversation and he said he was going to propose to me and planned on marrying me. He talked about how his plans had been frustrated by him coming out of the Army.

"The last message he sent told me how much he loved me and he wished me a good night's sleep. I thought it was strange that he didn't text me on the Wednesday morning, but I thought he was lying in or tidying up before his family came back."

Mum Lisa Gibson had last spoken to her son over the phone the day before he died.In a statement, she said: "He was devastated when he left the Army. It was a big event in his life and he told me in May that he felt he had let me down.

"When we went on holiday on August 9 he was laughing and joking and back to his normal self and nothing gave us cause for concern.

"He called me to tell me his results had come back for his tests and that they were clear. He said he was planning on rejoining the Army as an officer and seemed ecstatic.

"I last spoke to him on August 13 at 5.30pm. I called him and asked if he was OK. He asked what bins needed to go out and asked how his sister was, there was nothing unusual.

"He had a friend who took his own life and he was instrumental in organising a get-together to celebrate his friend's life. We simply don't know why this happened."

His GP record showed no history of mental health issues.

Concluding that Macauley died as a result of suicide, North Staffordshire coroner Andrew Barkley said: "I'm very sorry that nothing answers the central question which is why this happened."

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