THE family of a former soldier traumatised in Iraq have paid tribute to their "effervescent and full of life" loved one following an inquest into his death today (Wednesday, March 30).

Simon Brewer, who was 44, of Eston, Middlesbrough, died of alcohol related conditions at his home on Chancel Way on December 2 last year, assistant coroner Joanne Wharton concluded.

The former Scots Guard in the Third Battalion Parachute Regiment had suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after several tours of war-time Iraq.

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His uncle, Peter Jones, said he would never discuss what had happened in Iraq. However the Facebook tribute site to fallen British soldiers, Some Gave All, said that he "had been involved in an incident in Iraq which he never got over."

Mr Jones remembered happier times with his nephew who he said served for 17 years before being discharged sometime around 2007. He said: "He was well known with lots of friends. He was effervescent, full of life. He'd always wanted to be in the Army."

Mr Jones added that his nephew had been well supported since leaving the Army.

The inquest was told that Mr Brewer had become alcohol dependent and suffered from depression since Iraq and had been treated in mental health support hospital Roseberry Park on more than once occasion.

The coroner heard that in the period leading up to his death Mr Brewer had been sober for at least three months and had a renewed commitment to life. However he had an argument with a girlfriend and, following a trip to Thailand in November, started drinking again.

In a mental health assessment meeting he told doctors and support workers that psychiatric drugs, 'don't stop the voices anyway,' and he was making an active choice to start drinking again. He told the NHS mental health medics that he was drinking at least a litre of vodka a day and several cans of lager. The assessors concluded that; "he had full capacity and was making an active choice to refuse to engage with services."

However there were still several attempts to intervene. A mental health nurse called round on November 20 and recommended a new detox programme and the soldier's support charity, Combat Stress, offered a bed in a support unit but Mr Brewer denied feeling suicidal.

On the day of his death a friend Mr Brewer had met in Roseberry Park had been drinking with him and eating pizza. When Mr Brewer collapsed the friend called an ambulance and attempted to resuscitate him, to no avail and paramedics eventually declared Mr Brewer dead at the scene.

A post-mortem discovered that Mr Brewer 460ml of alcohol in his blood per 100ml, above the levels associated with death. The coroner concluded Mr Brewer died of acute alcohol toxicity.

A tribute on the Some Gave All website said: "The deepest wounds are often those which can not be seen."