A MENTALLY ill man from Winchester committed suicide after lying down on a railway track, an inquest heard.

Benjamin Blyth was found dead on the scene last August on a railway track near Badger Farm by transport police.

He had been diagnosed with Chronic Treatment-Resistant Paranoid Schizophrenia and had a history of drinking problems.

Mr Blyth, regularly saw a social worker, Anthony Sharp, as part of the NHS Early Intervention scheme and was on medication for his illness.

But he had regularly refused hostel accommodation and government benefits and Mr Sharp said: “He chose to live a lifestyle where he was in control and able to make his own choices.”

His health had been improving during the summer of 2010 and witnesses who saw him the evening before the incident said he was in good spirits.

His father Michael Blyth said he was moved by how well loved Ben seemed to be in Winchester after his funeral, which was held by the cathedral at no charge to the family.

“We had no idea how well known, well liked and well loved Ben was here in and how many hearts he had touched over the years and how he really had everything to live for because he had so many friends but the problem was he did not realise or recognise it.”

He added how grateful he and his family were to Winchester Night Shelter, Trinity Centre, the Salvation Army and the Early Intervention program for all the help they offered Ben over the years.

A jury on Wednesday, January 26 recorded a verdict of suicide while suffering from a mental health condition.