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Newmarket man Paul Farrelly took his own life after struggling with alcohol problems and fears over his past, inquest told

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A Newmarket man, who hanged himself in his kitchen, lived his life frightened people would find out about something which happened to him when he was a teenager, an inquest heard.

Fifty-seven-year-old Paul Farrelly, who died in June last year, was born in Birmingham where, as a two-year-old, he had been placed in a children’s home.

He eventually made his way to Newmarket to work in the racing industry but his life was plagued by alcoholism and drug use.

Cambridgeshire Coroners Court, in Huntingdon. Picture: Dan Barker (52509873)
Cambridgeshire Coroners Court, in Huntingdon. Picture: Dan Barker (52509873)

The inquest, held in Huntingdon, heard he had made previous suicide attempts, which had involved the use of alcohol, but on those occasions he had always sought help.

Lyn Goodenough, an assistant practitioner with a mental health team, who worked with Mr Farrelly for about a month just weeks before he died, said he had not had a very good childhood.

“Paul was always running away from his past,” she said.

“He was always frightened that he would be found out about an incident that happened when he was 15. He was always worried, always running away, always trying to escape.”

Philip Barlow, assistant coroner for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, asked her if she believed that on this occasion things had got too much for him, she said she believed they had.

In a statement, Mr Farrelly’s life-long friend, John Lawler, who had discovered his body, said he had known him since he was about two years old.

“We were in the same children’s home and grew up together. I knew that Paul was an alcoholic and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings,” he said. “He was also a recovering drug user.”

He said he had last seen Mr Farrelly in Exeter Road, in Newmarket, on June 20 when he appeared to be drunk.

“I was concerned he had started drinking again but he said, ‘My head is in a good space leave me alone’.”

On June 24 he went to Mr Farrelly’s home in Fitzwilliam Close, with a friend, because he was worried he had not been able to get hold of him for two days.

The door was locked but he got in using a spare key Mr Farrelly had given him. He found his body in the kitchen.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Mr Barlow, said: “It is very clear that Paul had struggled for a long time with mental health issues and with the use of alcohol and other drugs.

"He had made previous (suicide) attempts but had stopped himself on each occasion and sought help. On this occasion things had simply just become too much for him.

"It is very clear that Paul had suffered considerably in his life and it was difficult for all those around him to support him.”

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