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King’s Lynn man suffered depression and financial worries before police found him dead in wood in Hull

PUBLISHED: 15:11 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 02 February 2018

Chris Nicholls, who went missing on July 2 last year. Picture: Norfolk Police

Chris Nicholls, who went missing on July 2 last year. Picture: Norfolk Police

Archant

A 37-year-old man suffered depression and financial problems before he was found dead in woodland.

Chris Nicholls of Gaywood Road, King’s Lynn, was last seen at a church meeting in the town on Sunday, July 2.

An inquest today heard police in Humberside began searching for him on July 10 after his debit card was used at a supermarket in Hull.

In a statement read out during the hearing at Lynn coroner’s court PC David Collinson said a man matching Mr Nicholls’s description had been captured on CCTV buying milk at an Aldi on the city’s Sutton Road.

PC Collinson and colleague PC Davis began searching an overgrown roundabout and woodland off the nearby Holwell Road.

“At 21.25 hours, I found a male matching the description of the male seen on CCTV,” he said.

“I checked the male to see if I could find a pulse but he was cold. He had obviously been dead for some time.”

Assistant coroner for Norfolk Johanna Thompson heard the cause of death was asphyxia.

In a statement read out in court Mr Nicholls’s aunt Brenda Wright said he had lived in Heacham with his mother, who he was very close to, until she passed away in 2014.

She added: “After his mother died, he found life very hard.”

Former partner Donna Wood said in a statement he had been taking anti-depressants for years because of “bad feelings in his head and his body”.

Mr Nicholls’s records of consultations with GPs at the St James Medical Practice said that he had suffered depression and money worries but by May 22, 2017 he seemed to be improving after starting a job in March.

Half-brother Robert Muscat said in a statement Mr Nicholls was working hard from the beginning of 2017 to get his life together with support from friends at the Gateway Church. He added by July he was unable to pay his rent.

Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson said in her summing up Mr Nicholls suffered from depression. She said he was struggling financially after being in and out of work.

“From the description given it seems Chris purchased items he could use to take his own life and his body was found in woodland off Holwell Road, Hull. My conclusion is one of suicide.”

The Samaritans are availible to contact 24/7 on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org

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