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News and Star
A FORENSIC science lecturer hanged himself because he could not come to terms with the break up of his relationship, an inquest heard.
Ian Lawson was found dead hours after threatening to kill himself during an argument with his former girlfriend.
The divorced father, who taught on the forensic science diploma course at the University of Central Lancashire’s Newton Rigg campus in Penrith, hanged himself at his home in Newlaithes Avenue, Morton.
His mother, Janet Lawson, discovered his body on January 17 when she called at the house to pick him up.
At an inquest into the 41-year-old’s death, David Osborne, coroner for north east Cumbria, said: “He found it difficult to accept the relationship was at an end and the brief attempt at conciliation had not worked out.”
The inquest heard Mr Lawson had talked of suicide on more than one occasion before his death, and had been taking anti-depressants prescribed by his GP.
His former girlfriend, Michelle Armstrong, of Cumrew Close, Carlisle, told the inquest that Mr Lawson had threatened to kill himself on January 16 but said she had not taken the threat seriously.
The inquest heard the couple had an on-off relationship which ended after four months in August last year. After a while they met again to talk about giving the relationship another try.
Miss Armstrong told the inquest: “He said he couldn’t live without me.”
He told her he had previously taken an overdose but she was not convinced it had been a serious attempt.
On Christmas Eve they decided to give the relationship another go but soon they were arguing again and on New Year’s Eve she left him.
A couple of weeks later he asked her to come to the house to collect some of her possessions,
She took a mutual friend, Ralph Lowe, with her because she was concerned about Mr Lawson’s erratic behaviour. Within a short time an argument had broken out and Mr Lawson threatened to kill himself.
She said: “He said that if we couldn’t be together he didn’t want to be here. I said anybody that was going to do something like that would do it and wouldn’t just keep threatening to get me to go back to him.”
When she was leaving with Mr Lowe, Mr Lawson asked him to come back for a drink after he had dropped her off, but Mr Lowe decided it was too late and sent a text message saying he would not be going back round.
Mr Osborne said: “We don’t know if he received that message. It appears he decided to implement the threat and hanged himself from an upstairs hatch. Whether he was hoping his friend would return it is difficult to know.”
He described Mr Lawson’s death as a deliberate course of action and recorded a verdict of suicide.