A popular groundsman hanged himself in the cemetery where he worked, an inquest has heard.
Father-of-two Paul Fletcher, 46, was found hanging in Penwortham Cemetery in Hill Road, by a dog walker at 7.15am on September 2.
Yesterday, Preston Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Fletcher’s phone rang shortly after police arrived at the scene, and an officer broke the news to his brother Wayne, who had been concerned for his welfare.
Area Coroner Richard Taylor said Mr Fletcher had seen his brother the previous evening and asked him to look after his dog, which was not unusual, but that Wayne “didn’t feel he was quite himself”.
He said: “He (Wayne) asked him if he was alright and he didn’t say anything.”
Mr Fletcher rang Wayne most mornings, and when this didn’t occur, Wayne became worried.
Mr Taylor, reading Wayne’s statement, said: “He rang his number and knew something was wrong. He went to his house and found the front door unlocked. He knew he would be at the Cemetery, he simply knew something would have happened.”
Wayne Fletcher also told police how his brother had attempted to take his own life with an overdose 20 years ago, but since that happened, “seemed to be coping”.
Mr Fletcher’s Will was found on the kitchen table in his house in Leyland Road, Penwortham, and toxicology reports showed alcohol and cocaine in his system.
His cause of death was recorded as asphyxiation by hanging.
Mr Taylor recorded death by suicide. He said: “Given the circumstances this is a deliberate act and there doesn’t seem to be any other realistic explanation of what he’s done.”
>>>Read community tributes to Paul here