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Woolpit man Joseph Lyons, 24, died by suicide, inquest is told



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The death of an installation surveyor from Woolpit has today been ruled a suicide at an inquest hearing.

Friends and family of 24-year-old Joseph Lyons gathered at Suffolk Coroner's Court today for the proceedings.

Mr Lyons, an installation surveyor, was found unconscious near a lake in Hessett in the early hours of July 11 last year.

The inquest into the death of 24-year-old Joseph Lyons was conducted at Suffolk Coroner's Court.
The inquest into the death of 24-year-old Joseph Lyons was conducted at Suffolk Coroner's Court.

Coroner Nigel Parsley ruled that he died by hanging, and revealed that police officers recovered a suicide note nearby.

Despite this, friends and family of Mr Lyons insisted he had given little indication he had been planning to kill himself.

The events preceding the young man's death were scrutinised in court today.

On the evening of July 10, Mr Lyons attended a number of pubs around Bury St Edmunds, accompanied by a group of friends.

The Euro final was coming up the following day, and a friend said Mr Lyons, a football fan, was excited to see England play.

At The White Horse in Beyton, friends said they saw Mr Lyons get into an altercation with another man, which they had to break up.

A witness said this was only a 'scuffle', and that neither person involved was injured.

However, Mr Lyons did not tell his friends what caused the fight - and the other man has never been located.

Around 6.30pm, the group split up to go home, and hours later, Mr Lyons called up a friend who had not been out with him that afternoon.

In a statement read before the court, she said that Mr Lyons had been in a state of acute distress.

The call left her with the impression he may have been contemplating suicide.

She said: "He was sobbing uncontrollably.

"The feeling was so real. It is hard to describe, but it felt so real in the moment."

Concerned for Mr Lyons' welfare, friends and family met at a lake in Hessett to search for him.

The lake in question was well-known to Mr Lyons, who frequently went there with friends during the summer months.

Members of the search party found the site difficult to navigate, and called the police around 1am.

A dog unit attended, and it was a handler from this group who subsequently discovered Mr Lyons in a wooded area by the lake.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, and a suicide note addressed to his family was found near his body.

In the months before the incident, Mr Lyons had been treated for symptoms of depression.

He had been interviewed by police over what the coroner described as a 'serious' allegation - although a psychological assessment had not identified him as a suicide risk.

Mr Lyons had denied the allegation, and the coroner said his family were standing by him.

Mr Parsley said that pressure from the police investigation into Mr Lyons may have contributed to his decision to kill himself - but emphasised that only Mr Lyons knew for sure.

Concluding the inquest, the coroner told the young man's loved ones that he did not believe they could have foreseen his suicide.

Mr Parsley said: "It is one of those cases where I see nothing in the evidence that would have alerted you that this was going to happen.

"We all like to think that we know our children. We all like to think that we know our loved ones. But that is not necessarily the case.

"There is no history of suicide ideation in Joe's case, and absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent this."

Mr Parsley ruled the death suicide by hanging, and offered his condolences to his loved ones.

After the inquest, police were able to confirm that no further action was going to be taken against Joseph Lyons with regards to the serious allegation.

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