A ‘KIND and considerate’ man who always felt guilty about challenging behaviour caused by his mental illness, including–a bomb hoax that led to the evacuation of a York neighbourhood, took his own life.

An inquest heard that Shaun Halliday was found hanging at his home in Strensall in April by a community psychiatric nurse, Jill Bean.

She told the inquest of the mental health problems he had been suffering.

She said: “He was a gentleman, very kind and sensitive, and considerate.”

But she said he had very low self esteem, and tended to ruminate on his behaviour and feel very guilty about it.

The inquest heard he suffered from bipolar affective disorder and episodes of depression and in 2005, he had put a hoax bomb under the car of a nurse.

The Press reported in 2006 that he had been detained indefinitely at a psychiatric unit by a judge at York Crown Court, which was told that the hoax package was so realistic that dozens of people had to leave their homes and offices in The Avenue, Clifton, school exams were delayed at nearby St Peter’s School and Bootham was closed and Army experts called in.

Halliday later told police his sole intention had been to get someone to listen to him.

York Press:

His mother, Barbara Bullivant, told the inquest this week that her son used to feel guilty about things he had done in the past.

She said she had always said to him: “Don’t apologise – it wasn’t you, it was your illness.”

Theresa Sanders, locality manager for adult mental health services for York and Selby at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said it investigated his death and some lessons had been learned from the incident, and steps had been taken to improve its care for patients in the community.

These included regular reviews of the patients’ progress or difficulties by senior clinical teams.

Ruth Hill, trust director of operations, said: “We are very sorry about Mr Halliday’s tragic death and understand how distressing it is for his family and friends. I would like to offer them our sincerest condolences.”

Coroner Rob Turnbull concluded that Mr Halliday took his own life.

  • If you are concerned about someone or have any thoughts about suicide, phone The Samaritans on 08457 909090.