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Inquest into Gavin Ball's death

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 18, 2014

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FAMILY and friends have expressed their shock at the death of a 21-year-old after he was found hanging at his home.

Gavin Ball died in hospital four days after he was discovered at his home in Mill Lane, Wetley Rocks, despite his mother’s desperate attempts to save him.

Gavin Ball was found hanged at his home in Mill Lane, Wetley Rocks. on October 1, last year.

An inquest into his death, held on Monday, heard how his mother, Diane Prince, returned home at just before 10pm to discover her eldest son in the hallway.

She managed to rescue him and he was taken to hospital.

But he died from his injuries on October 5 last year.

Mrs Prince, who lived with her son in Mill Lane, said: “Gav had told me he had thought about taking his life before, but he told me he couldn’t, so I never thought he would do anything to harm himself.

“I cannot honestly think of a reason why he would do what he’s done.

“He was a little agitated on the Sunday morning when he woke up but by that night he had settled down again. And he was fine when I spoke to him Tuesday afternoon.

“He was just normal. He was talking and was quite calm.”

Following the former Leek High School student’s death, police found more than 530 tablets of codeine sulphate hidden in a bathroom cupboard.

The drugs are believed to have belonged to Mr Ball.

However, it is not known where he had got them from and whether or not he was taking them.

Mr Ball’s best friend, Jonathan Lucas, had spoken to him just hours before he was found by his mum. attempted to end his life.

In a statement, Mr Lucas said: “I had known Gav since we were about eight. We shared a love of motorbikes.

“He had a few problems and he got stressed very quickly.

“He had lost his job as a labourer several months before and he was struggling for money.

“I would lend him cash and help him out by giving him some work in my garage.

“He was never that bothered about relationships, he had plenty of friends so he was never lonely.

“He had never given me any indication that he wanted to take his life. He seemed fine and from other people that I have spoken to, nobody can understand how this has happened. I was his best friend. If he was going to tell anyone what was going on, he would have told me.”

Police officers found three mobile phones at Mr Ball’s home.

They examined their history but failed to find anything indicating why Mr Ball should have wanted to end his life.

A Post-mortem examination ruled Mr Ball died from hanging.

But assistant coroner Margaret Jones, said she could not be sure he had intended to kill himself.

Recording an open verdict, she said: “Gav was a 21-year-old man who had suffered from depression and refused to seek help, but I cannot be sure that he intended to take his own life.

“I have seen no evidence that Gav clearly intended to take his own life.

“It might have been that he expected his mother to return home a little earlier than she did, but we simply don’t know.”

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