Depressed teacher (23) took his own life

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A YOUNG teacher described as "academically gifted" hanged himself at his parents' home earlier this year after suffering from depression.

An inquest heard how James Shoesmith (23), of Higham Road, Padiham, was unable to escape the depression which had plagued him since 2004.

He was preparing for his final year studying law and French law at Queen's College, Oxford, when he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

"He was happy and had no issues with anything," said James' father, Neil. "He had no financial concerns and you would never have seen him as the kind of person who could suffer from depression."

Mrs Valerie Shoemith said he started acting out of character one day to the point where she had to call the doctor.

She said: "He stayed on the medication for his final year to ensure it didn't affect his studies. He came off them after his studies though and I think he may have come off them too quickly."

His father read out a statement from professor Dan Sarooshi, James' tutor, who called him "very intelligent but most importantly a wonderful human being."

Despite gaining a law degree, James decided to follow a career in teaching, working as a humanities teacher, giving lessons in history and law at Haslingden High School.

His parents said if they had been asked to compile a list of all the people who they knew who may have committed suicide they would never have thought about putting him on that list.

James died on March 23rd and Mrs Shoesmith told the court how her son had started to exhibit symptoms of depression again but thought it was under control.

"He went back on his medication on March 6th," she said. "He started to improve and was looking at going back to work on March 26th. I would never have left him that morning if I knew he was going to do what he did."

Recording a verdict of suicide, East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said: "I get a picture of young man who was extremely dedicated and who wanted to pass on his intelligence to others. He was struck down by depression which is sadly something we will never understand and because of that chemical imbalance he took his own life."