Inquest hears teenager was found dead in Gosport country park

MYSTERY surrounds the death of a young man who was found hanged in woods.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 5:16 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 8:20 pm

Louis Sutton, 18, took his own life on June 27 at Alver Valley Country Park - leaving his family with unanswered questions.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard how the ‘private’ teenager had confessed to his mum Rebecca Saunders that he was ‘ashamed’ in the days leading up to his death but didn’t want to talk about it.

She told the inquest: ‘At the beginning of June he was quite distressed and was hitting his punch bag.

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The Coroner's Court - in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

‘He said he was upset but couldn’t find the words. I asked why he couldn’t talk but he just said he was ashamed. He never said why.’

Mr Sutton’s private agony led to his decision to hang himself in the wooded country park.

Witness Charles Parker, who works cutting trees at the park, said he saw someone acting strangely before the body was discovered. ‘I saw a man look straight at me before he jumped into the bushes,’ he said.

‘He kept his back to me as I went past so I never got a chance to see his face.’

A man walking with his wife and child then sounded the alarm and emergency services were called.

PC Steve Simcox battled in vain to save Mr Sutton’s life, giving CPR.

Paramedics took over after arriving but Mr Sutton was confirmed dead.

A mobile phone and notebook were found at the scene but no note was left.

The cause of death was confirmed as asphyxiation from hanging by pathologist Dave Cowlishaw.

Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict that Mr Sutton had taken his own life. ‘He was a young man with no serious problems,’ he said.

‘He seemed like a private person and wouldn’t want to talk about his problems. We will never know the reason why he did it. It’s a terrible tragedy.’

- The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123.