Town centre hanging - inquest report

A MAN who killed himself had a tendency to get depressed when he drank, an inquest heard.

Friday, 9th February 2007, 7:22 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:44 pm

Clifford Richards, 46, who lived in a caravan off Barrington Road, Worthing, was found hanging from a tree by a passer-by in St Mary's churchyard, Shoreham, on January 4.

A pathology report by Dr Mark Appleton, read out at Thursday's inquest at Worthing Town Hall, found that Mr Richards had a significant amount of alcohol in his system at the time of his death.

The level would have amounted to almost three times the legal drink-drive limit.

In a statement by his friend of 25 years, Ian Howes, the inquest heard how Mr Richards would "drink when he could afford it and would then get depressed".

It went on: "He would talk about his childhood and how he had been upset at being put into care. One time, he confided that he had tried to take his own life by cutting his wrists."

Mr Howes, who last saw Mr Richards on New Year's Eve, also pointed out his friend was a kind man.

He said he was interested in current affairs and said the two of them would often spend evenings chatting and "putting the world to rights". Recording a verdict of suicide, coroner Roger Stone said: "The level of alcohol is clearly likely to have affected his actions or mental condition.

"We have also heard how he would often get depressed as a result of using the drink.

"I will therefore have no alternative but to conclude that he took his own life."