A bride-to-be broke down in tears at the end of an inquest into the death of her partner who slashed himself with a knife.

Julie Armitage, 46, of Broomhill Close, Scholes, Holmfirth , could control her emotions no longer at Bradford Coroner’s Court as the harrowing, day-long hearing drew to its conclusion.

The court heard that Richard Norgate, 49, a self-employed builder and father-of-two with serious mental health problems, had attempted to kill himself twice previously but that had been several years ago.

And it appeared that nothing was out of the ordinary when, on the morning of April 1, 2017, he was found dead in his van which was parked outside a garage close to the home he shared with fiancee Julie.

The court heard a neighbour, Aiden Hopson, found Mr Norgate’s body and raised the alarm. A paramedic certified the time of death at 8.53am.

Bradford Magistrates' Court where inquests are held at Bradford Coroner's Court inside the complex

It emerged that a green-coloured, bloodstained Stanley knife was found in the van which was locked and had its engine still running.

Although Mr Norgate appeared his usual bubbly self in the days before his death it turned out that he had been having “irrational thoughts.”

He was being given appropriate medication to moderate his schizophrenic-type symptoms and was regularly monitored by the health service with him engaging with health professionals and keeping almost all his appointments and taking his medication.

Afterwards, Julie, an accredited counsellor, who had been in a relationship with Mr Norgate for eight years, said: “He had this wonderful smile. He had had his teeth done and was dead proud of them.

“He liked banter and would talk to anyone. His death came as a complete shock. We didn’t expect that at all.

“Richard was originally from Meltham and was a very keen motorbiker and had a Kawasaki 1100. He enjoyed going swimming and to the gym and strangely enough, for a builder, ballroom dancing.

“We had just gone away for a week to Thirsk before this happened. It was my birthday present to him as his 50th was coming up on May 10.”

After hearing evidence from a number of witnesses including a consultant psychiatrist, Dr Umesh Gowda, who treated him, and Simon Plummer, who carried out an investigation for the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Coroner Kirsty Gomersal returned a narrative conclusion.

Where to get help if you're struggling

You don't have to suffer in silence if you're struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won't show up on your bill

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit

Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. Has a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

She said: “Richard Norgate was a much-loved partner, brother and father and was clearly adored by all those who came into contact with him.”

She added that he had a “loving and caring family” and this was evidenced by the attendance of two of his sisters, a brother and his step-daughter Katie.

On the day of his death he “got up at 6.15am, ate his breakfast and got ready for work.”

Although it seemed nothing was out of the ordinary he was found in his van with “the Stanley knife on the passenger seat covered in blood and died as a result of a deliberate act inflicted by himself.”

Her narrative conclusion was that he “died on April 1, 2017 in a parking area near Broomhill Close as a result of self-inflicted injuries to his neck. I am satisfied that Richard’s death was due to his own actions but I can’t be satisfied as to his intentions.”

She said his consumption of half a bottle of brandy the night before his death may have affected his judgment by making him more impulsive.

Four recommendations were made to improve the health service but these were largely of an administrative nature and all of the medics involved said the outcome would have been the same even if they had been implemented prior to his death.