Media officer found dead at home described as an 'amazing man'

"An amazing man": Ian James Martin, known to his loved ones as James, has been described as having a "natural charisma"

"An amazing man" - Ian James Martin, known to his loved ones as James, has been described as having a "natural charisma" - Credit: SUPPLIED / JUST GIVING

A media officer found dead at his home has been described as embracing "every chance he had to laugh and bring joy to other’s lives". 

Ian James Martin, who was known by a variety of nicknames by friends and family – including James, Jimmy, and Jim – died on December 14, 2021.

Speaking at the inquest into his death held on Tuesday, March 29 at the coroner’s court at County Hall, Norwich, assistant coroner Samantha Goward was joined by Mr Martin’s mother and aunt. 

Reading from the evidence provided, Ms Gower explained that the 38-year-old, of Latimer Road, Norwich, had a history of depression for which he was receiving treatment from his GP.

He also had a history of substance and alcohol abuse, as well as previous self-harm.

In the months prior to his death, he had said that his mood had deteriorated but that he had no plans to harm himself. 

He had been referred to the mental health services on previous occasions but had not attended his appointment so was discharged.

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Ms Gower added: “He had separated from his wife and lost his grandfather recently which understandably caused him upset.”

On December 14, 2021, Mr Martin’s mother, Rita Topalli, came home at around 2am to find him hanging. Moments later, she began CPR while waiting for an ambulance, that later took him to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. 

Once there, a CT scan revealed he had suffered from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. He deteriorated throughout the day and died during the afternoon. 

Ms Topalli said: “I still feel that James should have been sectioned and I don’t feel he was mentally capable of getting help. He was in denial. He’s been let down. 

"I didn’t know how severe his mental health was. It wasn’t until he came home that I noticed his deterioration. 

“Sometimes we thought he was getting past it, but obviously he wasn’t.” 

A Just Giving donation page was set up by family friend Robbie Hodgson following Mr Martin’s death. 

Paying tribute to his friend, Mr Hodgson said: “[He] was an amazing man with such energy for life, his natural charisma and (sometimes dark) sense of humour would light up any room he was in.  

“He truly was the life of the party, a generous and kind man who embraced every chance he had to laugh and bring joy to other’s lives."

The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion that Mr Martin died as a result of hanging. 

Mr Martin was born on May 27, 1983, in Bradford, West Yorkshire. 

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.

You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.