A ‘TROUBLED’ man who had struggled with illicit drug use took his own life, an inquest heard.

John Anderson, 37, was discovered dead by a walker on the steps to the Candlestick chimney in Whitehaven on August 27.

An inquest into his death held at Cockermouth Coroners’ Court heard a statement from the woman, who was out walking that day.

She was ‘looking out to sea’ and ‘minding her own business’ when she got to the stairs. She ‘didn’t realise what she was looking at’.

She then saw Mr Anderson. Emergency services were called and police arrived at the scene. It was confirmed that Mr Anderson, who was known to police, was dead. He had left a note.

The inquest heard that he had been engaging with Recovery Steps prior to his death and was in receipt of an opioid substitute prescription.

He had attended an appointment on August 11 where he had ‘presented well’ and had not expressed any suicidal ideations. A further appointment had been scheduled for four weeks’ time.

A statement from Mr Anderson’s GP said his medical record was ‘sparse’ because he chose to seek medical care at A&E rather than the GP surgery.

The inquest heard Mr Anderson had been removed from the Sex Offenders’ Register in 2018.

A statement from his mother Christine, said he had generally been a ‘happy child’ growing up, who loved to spend time outside playing.  

He didn’t really like school and had some learning difficulties. He left school at 15 without any qualifications and was never formally assessed for behavioural problems.

Leading up to his death, Mr Anderson had attended a property in Whitehaven with associates and someone had ‘raised a significant event in his past’ which had caused him to become upset.

He deleted his Facebook account for reasons his family were unaware of.

Mr Anderson had visited his grandfather the day before he was found dead and had asked to use his phone. His grandfather said he was ‘quiet like he always was’.

A toxicology report revealed Mr Anderson had taken some substances, including cocaine, prior to his death. The cause of death was hanging.

Margaret Taylor, assistant coroner for Cumbria, said: “It’s clear that John was very loved and will be missed. He clearly was troubled over the years.

“He sought help. He realised substance misuse was a problem.”

Ms Taylor concluded that Mr Anderson died by suicide.

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