A CARLISLE couple whose 20-year-old son his thought to have taken his own life are calling on those who are suffering to speak out and seek support.

Kirsty and Scott Tarrant, of Leabourne Road, Currock, were given the worst possible news on September 3, that their son Sheldon had died.

The popular bouncer had suffered with mental health problems in the past, having tried to commit suicide once before. But with a new job and relationship, things seemed to be on the up for the former Richard Rose Central Academy student.
“The Monday before was the happiest I have seen him,” explained mum Kirsty, 41.

“He’d had his hair cut, he’d been shopping.”

She had seen him the night before the tragic event. 

“I let him into the house at 4 o’clock in the morning that Tuesday. I told him ‘don’t forget, you need to wash your shirts.’”
His family believe he took his own life.

Sheldon claims he was bullied while serving in the army, which led to the decision to change careers and become a doorman. After leaving The Royal Logistic Corps, Sheldon got a job working for security firm Pro-Tect in Carlisle, working in bars across the city, including Walkabout and The Crescent Bar. 

He also spent a lot of time at the Outrageous nightclub on English Street, as his girlfriend Beth Fox worked there.

The club had such a fondness for the bubbly young man that they closed their doors on the Tuesday of the incident, as a mark of respect.
“He seemed to be happy all the time,” said dad Scott, 44. “If he’d just said ‘I am down’, we would have come straight back [from work].”

A fundraising page was set up by one of Sheldon’s friends Emily Curle to pay for the funeral costs, which has now topped £2,600. The service took place at Carlisle Crematorium last week, with more than 200 people attending.

“The turnout was amazing,” said Kirsty.

“Friends from back home, army friends. There wasn’t enough room to fit them in.”

Sheldon - who was previously a student at West Lakes Academy in Egremont - also said he was bullied near his home, which saw family cars smashed in the process.

Kirsty and Scott felt their son’s life had turned a corner though. “We stopped worrying about him,” explained Kirsty. “He wasn’t up all night like he used to be, except when he was working.”

Scott said: “It came out of the blue. I wish he’d spoken to somebody, he knew he could tell us anything.”

He pleaded to others who might be struggling: “Don’t be scared to speak, to tell somebody. Just tell someone you know; you don’t want people going through something like this. It’s not embarrassing and people will listen.”

Kirsty added: “At 20 years of age, nothing is that bad.”

An Army spokesman said: “Bullying and harassment have no place in the Armed Forces and will not be tolerated.

"All allegations are taken very seriously.

“As this remains an ongoing legal matter it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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If you need support or advice, call the Samaritans free on 116 123. Don’t suffer in silence.