Portsmouth dad killed himself after years of mental health issues

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A FATHER-OF-FIVE who heard voices which ‘told him to kill people’ hanged himself, an inquest heard.

Michael Walker’s death was ruled as suicide by a coroner, who was told the 36-year-old had been fighting a long battle with mental health issues and recreational cocaine use.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard Mr Walker was found dead at his Portsmouth flat by police on May 23 this year.

Officers were called to the property at Edgbaston House, Sedgley Close, when he fell unconscious after wrapping a cord around his neck.

From a police report read by PC Linda Davies, the inquest heard the act was committed in front of Amy Wheatman - Mr Walker’s former partner and the mother of his children - who attempted to give him CPR before emergency services later announced his death at the scene.

The report said Miss Wheatman - who had known Mr Walker from the age of 15 - was staying at his home for fear of his wellbeing, after he suffered a fit following a cocaine overdose in the weeks prior to his death.

It heard the pair, who never married, had officially ended their relationship a number of years ago.

Findings from a pathologist’s post-mortem on Mr Walker showed that drug usage was not a contributing factor in his death, which was the result of hanging.

A GP’s report read out at the inquest told of a number of instances in which Mr Walker had deliberately harmed himself - dating back to 1993 - when he attempted to take his own life while at boarding school.

Mr Horsley added that since that time, the deceased had heard voices and experienced hallucinations, detailing the faces of clowns, sketches and places from cartoons.

Some of these voices, PC Davies said in her report, had ‘told him to kill people’.

Asked if he openly spoke about the attempt on his own life at boarding school - which eventually led to him moving back home - Mr Walker’s mother, Margaret, told the coroner: ‘I knew nothing about this. He was quiet and he stayed in his room.

‘I just thought it was because he was back home. He seemed normal.’

Returning a conclusion of suicide, coroner David Horsley said: ‘In hearing the evidence, it is clear that no-one else was involved in doing this.

‘I have to conclude that Mr Walker has taken his own life, after more than 20 years of mental health issues.’