Tipton hanging was suicide

PUBLISHED: 13:46 15 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:30 18 June 2010

A TIPTON man who had recently split up with his girlfriend hung himself after binging on a cocktail of drink and drugs, an inquest heard. Gavin Alexander Pratt, 29 was found hanging in Harpford Woods on December 2, 2007. The inquest, held at Honiton Magi

A TIPTON man who had recently split up with his girlfriend hung himself after binging on a cocktail of drink and drugs, an inquest heard.

Gavin Alexander Pratt, 29 was found hanging in Harpford Woods on December 2, 2007.

The inquest, held at Honiton Magistrates Court, on Tuesday heard that Mr Pratt had been living with his brother, John, after the break-up from his girlfriend in Shropshire a couple of weeks earlier.

In a statement Mr Pratt's brother, of the Paddock, Coombe Goyle, said: "I found he was quite sad and out of work but he appeared reasonably well."

The coroner heard that the night before Mr Pratt's body was discovered he had been drinking alcohol with his brother and their friend Lee.

John said he went to bed early and when he woke the next day he realised his brother was missing.

He was told by Lee that they had stayed up until 5.30am drinking alcohol.

They then decided to go to bed but Mr Pratt said he would first turn off the generator outside. That was the last time he was seen alive.

John, who was growing increasingly concerned, went to Sidmouth Police Station to report his brother missing and was then told a body had been found in the nearby woods.

The court also heard a written statement given by Susie Ford, the woman who found the body.

She was exercising her horse Jack when he became spooked as they walked along a disused railway track in the woods.

Susie then saw the body hanging from a tree, and went to a nearby house, belonging to John and Una Garland, to get help.

She said: "It was not until several hours later that it hit me. I feel sorry for this man and the family he left behind."

Written evidence was also given by Una Garland and several police officers who attended the scene.

A post-mortem found that Mr Pratt had 118mg per 100ml of alcohol and 2.9mg per 100ml of cocaine in his blood.

Exeter and Great Devon Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland recorded a verdict that Mr Pratt took his own life when he was under the influence of drink and drugs.


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