Builder who hanged himself ‘in debt’

A builder who hanged himself was believed to have had drug debts, an inquest has heard.

Karl Ellis was found by his wife Barbara on the afternoon of April 22 at their home in Sea Road, Pevensey Bay.

At his inquest she described him as ‘charismatic and very likeable’ and explained she was unaware he was using cocaine.

Cocaine metabolites were found in his system and coroner Alan Craze said that while he was not saying Mr Ellis’s decision to take his own life was as a result of cocaine depression, he would leave it open as possibility. An amount of alcohol consistent with mild to moderate intoxication was also found at post-mortem.

Mrs Ellis said, “He was hiding something from me, I know that, but I didn’t want to confront him about it.”

She said his father had left money to his mother and she had given some cash to the builder but he had lost it. She added, “In hindsight that could have been part of his depression.”

The inquest also heard he may have been gambling but Mrs Ellis said there had been no warning signs in the last few weeks of his death, adding, “I think something happened that morning that I will never know. He had got into debt, this is what I have found out.”

A statement read on behalf of Police Constable Alex Tombling said as he left the house after Mr Ellis was found hanged, one of the women there told him they believed he had drug debts.

Coroner Alan Craze came to a conclusion of suicide whilst the balance of the mind was disturbed.

* If you need to contact The Samaritans, you can phone the 24-hour helpline telephone number 08457-909090 or email jo@asamaritans.org