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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Carlisle man in 'need of love and affection' killed himself - inquest

A man who was “in considerable need of love and affection” died after his third suicide attempt, a coroner has ruled.

Robert Delacruz, 24, was found dead at his home on Nelson Street, Carlisle on September 26 last year by his father’s wife.

He had been in care since the age of 12 but his stepsister managed to track him down via Facebook in 2011, an inquest heard, and his father, Jeffrey Woods, came into his life.

They got on well at first but, when his father split up with his wife, Louise, Mr Delacruz became involved with her.

They moved to Carlisle where Mr Delacruz moved into accommodation at Nelson Street.

Despite being born with medical problems including hydrocephalus and partial vision, he found work at a gym and later as a security guard. After his employers found out about his vision problems he became unemployed, the inquest heard.

In the months leading up to his death he jumped off a bridge into a river and stood on train tracks to wait for a train.

Louise Woods said: “He felt like a failure because he couldn’t jump in front of the train.

“He said he heard voices and was talking to himself silently.”

At first his relationship with Mrs Woods was romantic but later became platonic, she said.

In the days before he died Mr Delacruz had put a note through his upstairs’ neighbour’s letterbox saying he was lonely and in need of friendship.

On the day of his death Mrs Woods had been texting Mr Delacruz but when she saw his Facebook profile had been deactivated she rushed to his house and found him hanged.

Coroner Dr David Roberts said: “He clearly had a difficult time in life and his relationship with Mrs Woods became more boyfriend and girlfriend than stepson and stepmother.

“Mr Delacruz was in considerable need of love and affection and this is desperately sad.”

His father Mr Woods said: “I only knew him for a short period of time unfortunately.

“He’s my only son and I have that much guilt and regret.”

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