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Mother's anguish after son, 23, found hanged

PUBLISHED: 18:28 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 16 August 2019

Callum Speck, 23, died in hospital after being found at his home in Norwich. Picture: Speck family

Callum Speck, 23, died in hospital after being found at his home in Norwich. Picture: Speck family

Speck family

A 23-year-old football player who suffered depression and anxiety "tragically" died after he hanged himself in a locked bathroom at his home, an inquest heard.

Callum Speck. Picture: Michelle SpeckCallum Speck. Picture: Michelle Speck

Callum Speck, of Scarlet Road, Norwich, died on May 19, 2018, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) after his mother found him hanging at the family home the previous day.

At an inquest held at Norfolk Coroners' Court on Thursday, August 15, senior coroner Jacqueline Lake heard how Mr Speck's mother returned to the house in the evening of Saturday, May 18, after going shopping.

"When I returned the bathroom door was locked," Mrs Speck said.

"I found Callum hanging."

Hewett Old Boys FC (red shirts) in action at the FDC at Bowthorpe in a five-a-side football tournament in memory of their teammate Callum Speck. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHewett Old Boys FC (red shirts) in action at the FDC at Bowthorpe in a five-a-side football tournament in memory of their teammate Callum Speck. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She told the inquest, via written evidence: "He had mentioned several weeks earlier that he felt low, and even though I begged him to see a doctor he refused.

"He had severe masked depression and he ended his life as he could not cope any longer."

READ MORE: Tributes paid to 'kind-hearted and loving' footballer Callum Speck

Mr Speck was taken to hospital by air ambulance, where he died the following morning.

An inquest into his death was opened on Wednesday, May 22, and heard Mr Speck was born in Cambridge on June 15, 1995.

His cause of death was given as multiple organ failure, hypoxic cardiac arrest, and hanging.

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GP Dr Tania Morley, from Castle Partnership, said he suffered with worries, low mood and self-harm, and was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and mild depression.

He was contacted by mental health services in 2013, but did not respond to attempts to engage him with assessment services.

The inquest heard how Mr Speck, a Barclays personal banker, was described by his mother as a "happy child" who went on to get a degree in sports science.

READ MORE: 23-year-old man died after being found in Norwich home, inquest hears

"He made lots of friends who have all been devastated by his passing," Mrs Speck said.

"He excelled in all sports; he had a great love for animals and loved to travel all over the world.

"Callum's death has come as the worst possible tragedy and pain I could have imagined. We had no idea how much he had masked his depression and how he felt a failure if he did talk about it."

She described his death as a "tragic accident caused by the power of the brain".

Ms Lake told the inquest that, on the balance of probabilities, she could not conclude Mr Speck had intended to end his life.

She gave a narrative conclusion that he died due to hanging and expressed her "sincere sympathies" to his family.

- The Samaritans can be called for free from anywhere in the UK at any time on 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org.

READ MORE: Inquest into death of 'kind-hearted' footballer to be held today

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