Man, 68, is found hanging in garage

THE death of a man found hanging in the garage of his Fairlight home remains a mystery.

An inquest at Hastings heard this week how the body of retired printer Francis Ball, 68, was found hanging from a ceiling joist in the garage of the property at Channel Way on the morning of April 10.

Police who investigated said there was no evidence of third party involvement and no suspicious circumstances.

Mr Ball, who had suffered from depression, had visited his GP Dr Chopra the morning before and his doctor had said he appeared to be “jovial and happy with no signs of depression.

His body was discovered by his Thai born wife Sathiya, who told the inquest: “He tried to be a happy man.

“He seemed happy when he came back from the doctors. We went shopping in Hastings and then he went out to see some friends in the afternoon.”

Mrs Ball reported her husband missing later that night when he failed to return home.

She said she checked the garage between 8.30pm and 9pm but could not see anything.

She discovered his body at 7.30am the next morning and called the police and ambulance.

The inquest heard that Mr Ball was undergoing financial difficulties last year and was unable to pay rent money he owed.

He had health problems in recent years including a stomach ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, meningitis and memory loss.

He had been offered counselling for depression but had refused.

A toxicologist report found that Mr Ball had a blood alcohol level one and a half times over the drink drive limit but Coroner Alan Craze said this would not have been sufficient to impair his judgment.

He believed that Mr Ball had made the decision sometime between going out and returning home.

Mr Craze recorded a conclusion that Mr Ball took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

He said: “This is a great tragedy. No-one can know what was going through his mind that day. There may be other factors that we don’t know about but they are in no way suspicious.”