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Man who suffered depression found hanged in Norwich tower, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 17:05 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:25 21 March 2018

Ashbourne Tower, Heartsease.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Ashbourne Tower, Heartsease. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A 29-year-old father who suffered depression and “had difficulty expressing his feelings” was found hanged at his flat at the Ashbourne Tower in Heartsease on October 10 last year, an inquest has heard.

Family and friends had not heard from Martin Hartnoll for a number of days and concern was growing. His brother and best friend went to the tenth floor of one of the towers and let themselves in with a key when they found Mr Hartnoll.

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard yesterday how Mr Hartnoll had not had the best start in life and had been through foster care.

His brother Simon Hartnoll had last seen him on September 23, when he “had been fine”.

“Three weeks before we found him I heard that he had tried to hang himself,” he told the court in a statement. “The next day I spoke to Martin when he indicated he was fine and didn’t want to talk about it. I couldn’t get him to share anything with me.

“He was fine and his usual self. He was cracking jokes and talking about the future.”

Simon went to his brother’s flat on October 10 with a friend who had a key, and they discovered him in a bedroom.

They later had to go through his brother’s belongings.

“Despite knowing him for 27 years I did not know him at all,” said Mr Hartnoll. “I only knew what he wanted me to know.

“The only other time Martin might have harmed himself was when he wrote his Ford Mondeo off. He had driven his car at 80mph over a roundabout when he had been drinking.

“I think he needed professional help. His depression wasn’t just linked to one thing. We lost my mum six or seven years ago and a close family friend three months later.”

Katrina Duffield, Mr Hartnoll’s ex partner, had a son with him in 2012 but the relationship ended soon after.

“We had a close relationship and he would often confide in me,” she told the court in a statement. “I believe he had mental health issues but he would not go to the doctor for this as he had difficulty speaking to people. He was having difficulty expressing his feelings.

“He would often stay in his flat due to his difficulties speaking to people.”

A statement from Thorpewood Medical Group, where Martin had been a patient prior to January 2017, said there is “no record” of any mental health condition during the period of time he was registered.

Senior coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake ruled out suicide, recording a narrative verdict.

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