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Bike club founder Mark Churchill found dead after new house 'anxiety'

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 14, 2014

Gloucestershire Coroner's Court

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POPULAR cyclist Mark Churchill, who co-founded the Bigfoot Mountain Bike Club, was found dead by his mother after he had become stressed about moving house.

The 45-year-old went through with a house purchase with his wife Amanda but confided with his GP that he felt great anxiety about it.

He was found hanged at the couple’s new home in Gambier Parry Gardens, in Longford, on September 30 last year – just hours after visiting the doctor who he had told he would not kill himself because it would hurt ‘too many close relatives’.

An inquest into his death at Gloucester Coroners Court on Thursday heard how Amanda has increased their offer on the house without his consent.

Dr Richard Webster, from Longlevens Surgery, said: “He wasn’t happy with the move. Although it was a good house he could not get excited about it. He was suffering from palpitations.

“I asked if he had suicidal thoughts and he said he did but he would not carry them out because he has got too many close relatives who would be hurt.

“On September 30 I saw him again and he was slightly better. He was sleeping a bit but had no motivation to do anything. He had been less critical of his wife and his in-laws.

“He seemed generally a little better than on his last visit. I was very shocked and saddened to hear that he took his life later the same day.”

His father Brian, who sat alongside his mother Margaret at the inquest, said: “On a number of occasions he was obviously very depressed then he could be completely different within one hour.

“I think the change in property price caused anxiety because he had no say in the matter and his wife’s parents had been quite a driving force in the increase in the offer.”

The new offer was still less than what the couple had been paying in rent.

Mr and Mrs Churchill have not spoken to Mark’s wife since the funeral and she did not attend the inquest, which heard she had suffered psychological problems since her husband’s death.

An open conclusion was recorded because coroner David Dooley could not be sure whether his death was accidental or a suicide.

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