After being fired from Tesco where he had been working for 17 years, a dedicated checkout employee took his own life.
Shaun Winstanley, 49, was discovered dead just days after being told that despite appealing against being fired, he would not get his job back.
An inquiry heard that after being held at gunpoint during a robbery at Tesco Express in Highfield Road, Blackpool, Winstanley’s mental health decreased considerably.
He was given five counseling sessions and was moved to other branches, heard an inquiry.
But then he spotted a shoplifter that he was chasing, causing him to be fired as a consequence of ‘unreasonable behavior’ because he allegedly endangered himself and a customer.
He was fired on Jan. 14 this year, appealed on Feb. 6, and was discovered dead a week later, on Feb. 13, at his home in the city, asphyxiating himself.
His stepdaughter Siobhan Winstanley, 28, said she had written to Tesco about the incident in an inquiry at Blackpool Town Hall, but they said the matter was closed now.
She said, “We may feel he’s going to be there if we go to the Highfield Road store. But he won’t be there because he’s no longer here.”
‘I am angry at Tesco. We have got our father in an urn in our living room. I sit there every morning with my coffee and look at him and wonder maybe if things had been different he would still be here. I think there needs to be an awareness of mental health and I think employers need to be doing right by their employees,” she said.
“I could try to take them to tribunal but anything they could give me wouldn’t be good enough. It would be blood money. I don’t want money. I want my dad back. Seventeen years he gave them and when he needed them most they let him down. After 17 years, they sent him off without even a “bye,”’ she concluded.
He was transferred to stores in Bispham and Poulton from the Highfield Road branch.
Siobhan said he was not offered any time off initially, but was disciplined after the robbery for missing three shifts.
She said, ‘He said he was struggling to sleep. He was very anxious. He was very depressed.”
Coroner Clare Doherty said that Winstanley was obviously “devastated” by the loss of his work, recording a suicide verdict.
A Tesco representative said employee welfare and safety was of “utmost importance” and hearing of Winstanley’s death was “incredibly unfortunate.”