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Troubled man found dead in Aldershot flat by former girlfriend

An inquest has been held into the death of a man who suffered from alcohol problems and depression, after he was found dead in his Aldershot home

A 'vulnerable' man who was 'crying out for help' but was unable to accept it was found dead by his former girlfriend in his Aldershot home, an inquest heard.

Terence Ryan, known as Terry, was spotted through the letter box of his flat in Romsey Close lying face down on the floor on October 20 and evidence suggested he could have been dead for two weeks or more before he was found.

Plagued by depression and alcoholism, his body was found to show signs of damage caused by acute alcohol abuse, such as an enlarged liver and acidic chemicals in the blood caused by alcohol ketosis. Around 100 empty wine bottles were found in the flat.

At his inquest at Alton Magistrates' Court on December 10, Coroner Andrew Bradley concluded that the 42-year-old had died of natural causes.

His former partner Lisa Bonstow gave evidence to the court, telling the story of how she had met Mr Ryan at a school reunion.

She had known Terry since she was nine and admitted having a crush on him at school, but it was not until 30 years later that the two began seeing one another. They later had a son.

"He seemed low, but did not say he had issues or problems," she told the court of their early meetings.

Mr Ryan's mother died when he was 15, and when his father recently died from a heart attack, shortly after recovering from cancer, he was said to have turned to alcohol and was admitted to hospital.

"He was a man of extremes," said Miss Bonstow. "He would either be really good and have no problems at all or have a bad turn and end up in hospital."

Mr Ryan, who was also diagnosed with depression, bi-polar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, was on a number of occasions told by doctors that his drinking was likely to kill him, but Miss Bonstow said his behaviour remained erratic, and that she once found him downstairs at 3am having drank a whole bottle of brandy.

She said that he also became addicted to Neurofen tablets, taking two or three packets a day, and that she was still finding packets hidden in her home today.

"It just seemed like Terry didn't want to help himself," she said.

Miss Bonstow had not spoken to Mr Ryan for several weeks before his death when she called round to his flat with a friend after becoming worried.

Mr Ryan was said to have suffered fractured ribs, probably when he fell to the floor. Unread texts were found on his phone from two weeks previously, and letters and newspapers were found piled by the front door. There was barely any furniture or food in the flat.

Colin Theide-Lowe, a support worker who worked with Mr Ryan from July 16, said he had initially seemed 'determined' to give up alcohol, but then 'slipped into no man's land'.

Mr Bradley offered his condolences to the family, saying: "It's just a great sadness to stand by and watch someone disintegrate. It's particularly difficult when you've got a cycle of wanting to engage but not being able to participate.

"He had people standing by wanting to help, but wasn't able to engage sufficiently."



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