Carlisle man killed himself after failing driving test

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A young man who struggled with anxiety and depression took his own life after failing his driving test for the sixth time.

An inquest heard that although Sam Crook, 23, of Lawson Street, off Newtown Road, Carlisle, had failed his driving test five times, he told people he had passed and sometimes drove illegally.

He was an intelligent man who was very critical of himself if he didn't reach his own high standards.

Coroner David Roberts said: "It seems clear passing his test was something that was very, very important to him.

"Failure to pass that test was a devastating blow. I think he pinned a lot of hope on it. Passing it would mean his lie was long gone and behind him and he could get on with his life."

Sam had an English degree from Northumbria University and was a support worker for a person with mental health issues.

His girlfriend Tia Norman paid tribute to him at the inquest saying: "He was eccentric. He wanted to please everyone."

Sam struggled with anxiety and depression and in 2014 was referred to First Step - part of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which provides free therapies to adults. He had eight sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy over five months.

Mr Roberts found Sam had died by suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide on August 25, 2015.

After yesterday's inquest in the city, Sam's mum, Mary Messenger, said she wants to raise awareness of the importance of talking about depression and suicide. She is fundraising for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, whose helpline is 0800 585858.

Mary is planning on running 500 miles this year for the male suicide prevention charity.

Tia also ran every day in January to raise funds and awareness for MIND and just needs a further £40 to reach her £1,000 target.

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