Dad took his own life at the Eden Project after job was put at risk

An Eden Project employee took his own life after his job was put at risk of redundancy, an inquest has heard.

Dad-of-three Marc Antonio Dominguez Mappley died at the attraction’s chemical storage area, where he worked in the horticulture science team, on July 28 of this year aged 48.

An inquest into Mr Mappley’s death heard that he suffered from a history of depression and had once before attempted suicide at the attraction several years prior. He was also struggling to deal with the death of his father when he died.

The cause of Mr Mappley’s death was confirmed as hanging and GP reports stated that Mr Mappley had been in regular contact with his surgery over his medication dose.

Giving evidence during the hearing was Mr Mappley’s partner Jay Henwood.

A statement read on behalf of Ms Henwood described how they met on match.com in 2019.

Ms Henwood said: “Marc had a great sense of humour and was a very, very funny guy. As time went on I learned he was a caring, loving person and an amazing father.”

Ms Henwood claimed that Mr Mappley told him he had previously attempted suicide in the same place and manner in 2015 after his marriage ended but wasn’t successful. However, this was not reported to Eden HR or the police.

Ms Henwood saying “he found a new lease of life after as it scared him”.

However, in January Mr Mappley received the “shock” news that his father had died after a period of illness. Mr Mappley was said to have not properly addressed his grief.

Worried about Covid and his finances, Mr Mappley and Ms Henwood moved in together in Tintagel with arrangements in place for Mr Mappley to see his children in Redruth.

Ms Henwood described Mr Mappley as being “lacklustre and sleeping more” and making comments about being worthless and everyone being better off without him.

In the months leading up to his death Mr Mappley was placed on furlough which created increased money worries and it was decided that he and Mr Henwood would together build Ms Henwood’s cleaning business.

Mr Mappley’s position was also put under redundancy consultation although no final decision had been made.

Mr Mappley and Ms Henwood had planned to marry as soon as possible but when Covid caused arrangements to be cancelled Mr Mappley was “hit hard”.

Ms Henwood concluded by saying that although Mr Mappley had numerous worries including planned alterations to when he could see his children, he was aware of no intention for him to take his life when he left for Eden that day.

Next to give evidence was Mr Mappley’s ex-wife and the mother of his children, Nancy.

She spoke of how they married in 2006 but separated amicably when their marriage turned to a friendship. Together they ensured the children were always put first.

Ms Mappley said that Mr Mappley had told her of his previous suicide attempt but promised never to do it again.

She said: “He was a loving, kind and gentle person whereas Jay was fiery. He didn’t cope well with that.

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“His dad’s death hit him very hard as he had always been Marc’s rock.”

On July 13, Mr Mappley sent Ms Mappley a positive message saying he was “feeling strong” and three days later sent another one saying that she is an amazing mum, that they should be proud of their children and that she would always have a place in his heart.

She added: “He came to visit and told me he was being made redundant. His job was his identity and he loved it. He was clearly struggling but I didn’t think he was suicidal.”

An Eden HR spokesperson said that Mr Mappley hadn’t actually been made redundant but that the consultation was in process. She added that the attraction never received any applications from Mr Mappley regarding other internal jobs he was told he could apply for.

Concluding the inquest, acting senior coroner for Cornwall Andrew Cox said: “Marc had suffered a long history of depression and over the last year or so suffered bereavement. He had financial concerns as a result of being furloughed.”

Coroner Cox recorded a conclusion of suicide and expressed his condolences to those who knew Mr Mappley.

Cornwall Live