Seaford man hanged himself by river bank

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A young Seaford man found hanging in a wooded area in Alfriston had been having relationship troubles, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Burge, of Chyngton Gardens, was found on the morning of October 12 last year.

An inquest into the 24-year-old’s death, which took place at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week, heard he had low self-esteem.

He was found in an area by the river bank with a crate by his feet. Inside was a notepad with a note to his parents and one to his girlfriend.

Martin Dawes from Alfriston had been out walking his dogs when he spotted Mr Burge’s body hanging from a tree. He told the inquest he had s

een him the previous morning and that he had been holding what he thought was a rope in his a hand, adding, “I walked past and he avoided eye contact.”

He found the Seaford resident the next day and called police who had received a call from Mr Burge’s parents the same morning to report him missing.

Mr Dawes’s neighbour Nick Denyer had also seen the body the same morning and called police. His statement explained

he has also seen the body on the morning of October 12 and called the police. It went on to say that he had been in the area walking his dogs at around 11.30pm the previous night and had been unaware of anyone else in the vicinity.

A statement read on behalf of Mr Burge’s GP said the caretaker said he had been suffering from abdominal pains and low self esteem for years.

His father Kenneth Burge, who described him as a ‘shy, young man’ who ‘lacked confidence’ and ‘kept himself to himself’ said through his statement his son had introduced a girl to the family in September.

But later the same month they had a call from her mum to say he had been found on the driveway of their Alfriston home with injuries and could not remember how he suffered them.

On October 10 he said he was going out with friends and replied to a text his father had sent that evening but did not respond to one the next day.

The family went to Alfriston to see if they could find him and was told he had been seen running off in the direction of Seaford.

Police said they were satisfied the death was not suspicious.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

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