A WINCHESTER man who was struggling to cope with his mental health outside of prison took his own life, an inquest heard.

Paul Moth was found hanged in Staple Gardens at around 9am on July 15.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard the 36-year-old, of supported housing centre West View House, had been suffering with mental health problems for a number of years, as well as problems with drugs and alcohol.

The inquest also heard the day before his death, Mr Moth had planned to hand himself into to a police station in Winchester over a theft, before he was told he was not wanted by officers.

Mr Moth’s friend Kelly Anne Dykes, who went to Winchester police station with him for support, said: “He wanted to hand himself in to be safe.

“It was the only place that was consistent. He wanted the help.”

Following this incident, he then went missing before being seen on a CCTV camera in Staple Gardens at around 1.30am where he took his life.

The inquest heard concerns from Mr Moth’s family and friends about support from the Southern Health mental health service in the weeks leading up to his death where there appeared to have been a breakdown in communication.

In response, a spokesman for Southern Health said after the inquest: “We were deeply sorry to hear of Mr Moth’s death and would like to again extend our sympathies to his family.

“We acknowledge that there was some confusion following the meeting about where he would be staying... Because of this we continued to try to contact him at the address we had for him. Upon learning he was staying with a friend we immediately updated our records and tried to contact him there.

“An investigation has been led by the Inclusion (drug and alcohol support) team.”

Recording a conclusion of suicide, assistant coroner Simon Burge said: “As a result of the breakdown (in communication) there was a failure to appreciate how desperate Paul was.”

However, Mr Burge said he was not sure whether if it was handled differently it would have made a difference.

During the inquest, Mr Moth’s partner Charli Solloway paid tribute to him, saying: “I couldn’t ask for a better person than Paul... He was the perfect dad to my little boy.”