Man found hanging in Stoke by Clare had a history of mental health problems

Mark Stanbridge ANL-150705-112957001
Mark Stanbridge ANL-150705-112957001

A man stabbed himself in the chest, tied his hands behind his back and then hanged himself in a Suffolk woodland, an inquest has heard.

Police initially launched an investigation into the death of Mark Stanbridge, 35, who was found hanging from a tree in Lords Wood at Stoke by Clare on May 4, 12 days after going missing from his home in Clare.

Home Office pathologist Benjamin Swift was called in to conduct a post mortem examination which failed to identify any signs that Mr Stanbridge had been assaulted or tried to defend himself.

The inquest on Monday in Bury St Edmunds heard that Dr Swift concluded it would be possible for Mr Stanbridge to have inflicted the chest wounds and to have tied his hands behind his back with a belt before hanging himself.

While the involvement of a third party could not conclusively be ruled out there was no evidence to show that anyone else was involved, said Dr Swift in a statement read to the inquest.

The inquest heard that in the weeks prior to his death Mr Stanbridge had been sleeping rough in the Haverhill area after being reported as missing by his family in Essex.

Deputy Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone said previously Mr Stanbridge had lived at supported housing in Chelmsford following his diagnosis with paranoid schizophrenia and having suffered mental health issues including two breakdowns.

Mr Stanbridge’s body was found by farmer John McKenny.

In a statement Mr McKenny said he cut through the baler twine from which the body was hanging and called for assistance from a colleague and the police.

Recording an open verdict, Dr Sharpstone said Mr Stanbridge had known significant psychiatric issues and had gone missing on previous occasions.