'Caring' dad, 19, took own life after being 'stopped' from seeing baby son and family bereavements

Blake Sayers, 19, with his son
-Credit: (Image: Steve Sayers/StokeonTrentLive)

A dad who was 'caring and happy' took his own life after being 'stopped' from seeing his baby, his heartbroken family say. Blake Sayers, aged 19, went for a walk over a Staffordshire park with his dog and was later found after not answering his phone.

Blake was struggling with not being part of his son's life but had no history of mental health problems, an inquest at Stafford Coroner's Court heard. Blake went for a walk over Apedale Country Park on March 8 and was found a short time later, after his girlfriend Kira Halas and others went looking for him, reports StokeonTrentLive.

The former pupil at Chesterton Community High School was also struggling with the deaths of his uncle and grandmother. Blake became a father in 2022 and loved-ones told the hearing that he wanted nothing more than to be the best dad to his child.

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However, the mother of the child 'restricted' his access, said his loved ones. In a statement, Blake's mum Kausar Shupherd said: "Blake was the most caring person I know.

"He had time for his family and friends and he loved us all very much. All he wanted is to be a dad to his son, but unfortunately the mother of his child wouldn’t let him see his son. Even when I had [my grandson], I still wasn’t allowed to let Blake see him.

Blake and his dad
Blake and his dad -Credit:StokeonTrentLive/Steve Sayers

"Blake was happy, playful, boisterous and joyful. He was always smiling. His relationship with Kira was good, it was healthy and it was happy. He always paid his way, he was a responsible parent and he loved his son.

"There was a disagreement with his son’s mum on March 7 which left him upset. He looked tired on March 8 and I asked him if he was ok and he said he was tired, but he was clearly sad and feeling down by the tone of his voice. I don’t think he meant to end his life, I think it was a cry for help."

The inquest at Stafford Coroner’s Court heard Blake, who also attended JCB Academy, was found near the junction of Apedale Road and Rowhurst Close at around 3pm on March 8. Blake’s girlfriend Kira added: "I’ve known Blake since primary school, we were friends, and we started a relationship in 2022.

"He wanted to spend time with his son and it affected his mental health. All in all he was just trying to be a part of his son’s life. All he wanted was to be a dad, he loved his son very much.

"On March 7 after his discussion with [his son’s mum] he came to my mum’s house and broke down in tears when he saw me. I tried showing him photos of us on holiday and I tried putting a film on but he didn’t want to do anything.

"The next day he said he was going to walk his dog, I said I’d come with him but he said ‘No, I’m only walking the dog’, so I held his hand and walked to his mum’s with him. He didn’t seem like himself.

"When I tried calling him it went to voicemail but I knew he had full charge. We went to Apedale and were shouting Blake’s and the dog’s name before we found him."

The inquest heard Blake sent a text to a friend wishing them 'happy birthday' at 12.45pm and by 12.46pm his phone had been switched off. Blake’s dad, Steve Sayers, told the court how his son knew Apedale Country Park well, and would go there often to walk his dog and to ride his motorbike.

Senior Coroner Andrew Barkley concluded Blake's death was suicide. He said: "There was nothing in his medical history to suggest depression, anxiety, self harm or any intention to take his own life. There are many factors that made him feel this way including not seeing his son, losing his uncle whom he was very close to, and losing his grandmother, and these factors likely played a part in his decision to take his own life.

"He was upset and was acting out of character when he was with his partner. On the balance of probabilities, it was his intention to take his own life. One cannot read someone else’s mind. I am satisfied that in these deeply sad circumstances that the conclusion is one of suicide."