Inquest told landlord Gary Parker was found hanged outside his St Austell pub
A pub customer told an inquest how he discovered the body of its landlord hanging by a rope from railings on the outside of the building.
John Crispin gave an emotional account of how he found Gary Parker, 46, who ran the William Cookworthy pub in St Austell. Father-of-three Mr Parker had become engaged just four days before his death to Maxine Crane, 42, with whom he ran the business.
Mr Crispin said he had gone outside for a cigarette at around 1.30pm on November 10 last year when he saw the body and ran inside screaming for Miss Crane to bring a knife and dial 999.
He said: "I ran out with the knife and cut him down. When Gary was on the ground I tried to resuscitate him by doing chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth but I knew he was dead."
Mr Parker used a bar stool to stand on to reach the railings surrounding the flat roof of a single-storey extension to the pub. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Mr Parker, who served in the Territorial Army for several years, had run the business with Miss Crane for 18 months. The court heard how three months before his death he had become anxious and was prescribed anti-depressants – at post-mortem therapeutic levels were found in a blood sample.
Normally Mr Parker opened up the pub at 11am every day, but when he failed to do so on the day in question Miss Crane let customers in.
She told the inquest: "We had no financial problems and we had a strong, loving relationship. He seemed totally happy."
Detective Constable Steve White said at just before 8am on the day he died Mr Parker was captured on CCTV buying the rope he used from a local DIY store.
He said: "No suicide notes were found. There was no evidence of any third-party involvement."
Dr Emma Carlyon, coroner for Cornwall, recorded a verdict that Mr Parker had killed himself.