A son paid tribute to his "eccentric" father as a coroner ruled his death as suicide yesterday (August 20)

On March 13, Dennis Howard was found hanging by his son at 9.30pm his home in East Wood Road, South Woodford.

Yesterday afternoon, at Walthamstow Coroners Court, Coroner Ian Wade ruled that the 73-year-old took his own life in a “tragic case”.

The court heard he had been to see his GP at Southdene Surgery in George Lane, South Woodford, four times in the month preceding his death.

Mr Howard was suffering from depression due to being a recent relationship break-up and feeling isolated and lonely living alone in his four-bedroom house.

His son and daughter, Richard and Jessica, attended the court.

In a statement read out, Richard said his parents divorced in 1994 and Dennis struggled to cope on his own.

He had a series of relationships but when the last one finished earlier this year, Dennis felt it was his last chance.

Richard, speaking of their last day together two weeks before his death, said: “He came to visit me in Brighton and he was very down, talking about his unhappiness that the woman he was meeting for coffee did not want to see him anymore.

“He said he didn’t want to bump into her around South Woodford and he was becoming more and more isolated in his house.

“That weekend we went on the Bluebell Railway but he was unusually subdued in the background and he just sat back not saying anything.”

Richard tried to phone him on March 10 but could not get through and as he was the only one with a key to the house, travelled to South Woodford on March 13 and found his father.

He spoke of his Dennis fondly in a statement read out in court.

He said: “He was eccentric in many ways and had many interests, enjoying history, art and classical music, he always had Classical FM on in the morning.

“Dad loved languages and made several unsuccessful attempts to learn French or German.

“He had a snappy sense of style with brightly coloured trousers and socks, he was always well turned out.

“I love my dad very much and can’t believe he would take his own life, he had so much to live for.”

Ruling the death as suicide, Coroner Ian Wade made a plea to everyone suffering with depression to think about the consequences of taking their own lives on their families.

He said: “It is so often overlooked by those in anguish that the rest of us go on living and are forced to come to terms with their act.

“I want to appeal to those going through wretched times, for better or worse that they carry on living.

“I hope you can remember the dad you loved.”