Family of North Walsham firefighter Dean Piper who took his own life urge others not to suffer in silence

Dean Piper, of Park Avenue, North Walsham, was described as a “fun-loving, dependable and understand

Dean Piper, of Park Avenue, North Walsham, was described as a fun-loving, dependable and understanding man during his inquest in Norwich on Monday. Photo: Piper family - Credit: Archant

The family of a retained firefighter who took his own life despite showing no signs of depression are urging others not to suffer in silence.

Dean Piper, of Park Avenue, North Walsham, was described as a 'fun-loving, dependable and understanding' man during his inquest in Norwich on Monday.

The father-of-two, who also worked as a tool setter, showed no signs of depression, and was looking forward to being best man at his father's wedding, his family said.

But on the morning of January 30 this year, the 36-year-old former North Walsham High School pupil was found dead in his garden shed.

A post-mortem concluded that he died as a result of hanging.

The inquest heard how police later found letters 'demanding' repayment of a large sum of money to a bank - something his family were unaware about - in December 2016.

Now, Mr Piper's family are urging other people in similar situations to speak out and get help.

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They said: 'Two weeks prior to his death, we were all giggling and laughing with him. And the night before, he was helping the kids with their homework.

'Now they are completely distraught.

'We would urge others to talk, and if we can get people who are in a similar situation to do that, then his death is not in vain.'

In a statement read out during the inquest, Mr Piper's father, Clifford Piper, said his son wanted to become a full-time firefighter.

'He still found time to do charity marathons and triathlons, and he was joint manager of his son's football team,' he said.

'Around Christmas 2016, Dean showed no signs of depression.'

Mr Piper said he invited his son and his family to their wedding in Cuba, which he appeared 'very excited' about.

PC Matthew Pritty, who was called to the scene, said there was no note left by Mr Piper.

But in a statement, he said: 'Several letters were found detailing a substantial amount of debt, which had been concealed from his partner.'

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said: 'There is no evidence that he was depressed or feeling down prior to his death.'

She ruled that he had died of hanging.

• The Samaritans offer free, 24-hour support and advice. Do not suffer in silence. Call 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org

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