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Exning father-to-be took his own life inquest ruled

An Exning accountant, whose body was found in the sea off the Sussex coast, had been struggling with work, an inquest heard yesterday.

Thirty-four-year-old Matthew Bursey was last been seen by his wife, Eleanor, on October 1 last year. He had been working from home throughout the pandemic but on that day told her he was going in to work to update his laptop. He never returned home.

At the time she was pregnant with the couple's first child and told the inquest, held at Eastbourne town hall, her 20-week baby scan had revealed they were expecting a girl. “He was delighted we were both healthy and had chosen the nursery colours.”

Father-to-be, Matthew Bursey, who took his own life an inquest ruled yesterday
Father-to-be, Matthew Bursey, who took his own life an inquest ruled yesterday

But Mrs Bursey said at the time of his disappearance, her husband had been struggling with work and that had caused him to become what she described as "deflated". She said he told her he’d made a mistake at work and wanted to move jobs.

“He was struggling to sleep because he was blaming himself for making mistakes,” she said and told the hearing she now felt a "deep sadness" at what had happened.

His mother, Christine Bursey, told the hearing she had seen her son two weeks before he went missing. Although she said he had seemed fine, and was chatty, she thought he was missing the routine work provided.

“They were a really happy couple. He was an honest, hard-working man who loved his family. I don’t know why he did this,” she said.

Mr Bursey's wife reported him missing to the police and CCTV at his place of work confirmed he had never arrived. His car was later found by police in the Birling Gap car park around an hour's walk along the cliffs to Beachy Head, the inquest heard.

It was 20 days before police were informed a body had been found in the sea at Cuckmere Haven. Det Sgt Todd Stewart told the inquest DNA checks confirmed it was Mr Bursey.

Derek Hodgkiss, who worked with Mr Bursey, said, “He was quiet, but he worked hard and he was reliable. He was a very gentle person and there were no issues at work.”

Recording a conclusion of suicide East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said, “I think he developed some anxiety and depression, and he hid it.”

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