Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Cumbrian man wrote suicide notes to loved ones - inquest

A man wrote goodbye notes to his loved ones before killing himself, an inquest was told.

Paul Hilbourne, 34, was found dead at his friend’s home in Whitehaven, in September last year.

Deputy coroner Robert Chapman recorded a suicide verdict at a hearing in Workington.

A post mortem report revealed that Mr Hillbourne died as a result of hanging. A toxicology report showed that he had methanol in his blood.

The inquest heard that Mr Hilbourne wrote notes to his fiancee Kerry Jackson, friend Ronnie Acton and one of his daughters.

The inquest heard that on September 20 last year, police were called to Mr Acton’s home, on Fleswick Avenue, where Mr Hilbourne and Miss Jackson were staying temporarily. He had no fixed address.

When officers arrived, they found Mr Hilbourne’s body upstairs. The police, and paramedics, tried to revive him.

Miss Jackson said that on that day, she and Mr Hilbourne had visited friends. She said her fiance had been drinking and had also got into two fights.

The couple then returned to Mr Acton’s home and had an argument.

The inquest heard that while the couple were arguing Mr Acton left the house to visit his sister next door. He later saw Miss Jackson leaving the house and getting into a friend’s car.

Miss Jackson said: “My friend came to pick me up.

“I asked Paul if he wanted to come with me and he said he didn’t, but he’d see me later. He kissed me and said he loved me.”

The inquest heard that when Mr Acton returned 20 minutes later, he found three goodbye notes and his friend hanged upstairs.

Coroner Mr Chapman said: “We will never know what caused him to do this. What we do know is that he had problems with seeing his children (from his previous marriage). He lived in the Midlands and then came back to Whitehaven. Shortly afterwards he met Kerry and lived with her parents for a few weeks.

“While he was back he started drinking. He went to see his GP and although he didn’t know much about him, he knew he had had mental health problems in the past.

“Paul seemed happy and we have heard evidence from Kerry and Ronnie that on the day he died he was drinking and had got into two fights. We know from the toxicology report that he was drinking methanol.”

Mr Chapman continued: “He had a history of attempting to kill himself. However, there has been no evidence that he had any indication of killing himself. But clearly he did intend to kill himself. He waited until no-one was around and wrote the notes. It’s a bit of a mystery about why he died.”

Mr Hilbourne’s father Michael said his son was born in Whitehaven and attended Whitehaven Secondary Modern before going into the Army. He has five children from three relationships.


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