A POPULAR Carlisle student from a loving family probably took his own life - despite showing no outward signs of being suicidal, a coroner has ruled.

Harry Armstrong, 20, died on the railway line near the city’s St Nicholas Bridge, on Sunday, April 7, after telling his mum Nicola he was going into town to meet a friend. There was no indication whatsoever he was at risk, an inquest heard.

Harry, who shared his father Graham’s love of football, was nearing the end of a sports science course with the University of South Wales when he died. “The house was always full of his friends,” said his mum in a statement.

She recalled how a blind date when he was 17 led Harry into a three-year relationship with his girlfriend and they became so inseparable people thought they would marry.

But in January - at Harry’s instigation - they separated because he felt they were too comfortable with each other. “Outwardly, there was no change in him,” said Mrs Armstrong. She occasionally asked about his former girlfriend but he said they were okay.

“He never mentioned or told us about anything which was troubling him,” she said. In March, the family enjoyed a happy holiday in Tenerife. “Everything was fine,” said Mrs Armstrong. “Harry was his normal self.”

On the Friday before he died, Harry’s friend Ben Schwenke noticed he was drinking more than normal, and helped put him in a taxi after he fell. On the Sunday morning, he visited Harry at his Carlisle home and they walked into Carlisle together.

Before they set off, Harry told him: “Everyone hates me.” Mr Scwenke said: “He made it sound slightly jokey but I felt I needed to correct him and offer some reassurance. I told him he was wrong.”

Just before 8pm that day, Harry left his home, telling his mum he was meeting Mr Schwenke. He said: “See ya,” to her as he left. In a text message, she told him: “I’m not nagging but please don’t drink any alcohol tonight.” He promised not to, adding: “Might lay off, to be honest.”

She replied that she was worried about him, prompting this: “I know I’m being a bit silly at the minute.”

After the tragedy, a search of Harry’s phone revealed he had researched suicide methods. Coroner Simon Ward said Harry had no mental health issues; nor were drunk or drugs involved.

Apart from the searches, there was no evidence of suicidal feelings. But Mr Ward concluded the manner of Harry’s death suggested he did take his own life.

HOPELINEUK offers confidential support for children and people under 35 experiencing suicidal thoughts. The number is 0800 068 4141. The suicide prevention charity Papyrus can be found at www:papyrus-uk.org/

Mrs Armstrong’ said she hoped Harry has found peace, adding: “He was and will always be loved.”