A chef who had a long battle with mental health issues took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Alex Robinson, 28, who worked in a County Durham steak restaurant, was found dead by his mother at his home in Spennymoor last November.

The inquest at Crook Coroners’ Court on Monday heard he had a history of depression and anxiety and had been working 70 hours a week at the time of his death.

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The Northern Echo: Alex Robinson from Spennymoor.Alex Robinson from Spennymoor. (Image: LAURA ROBINSON)

The court heard concern was raised when he failed to collect his six-year-old son as planned.

His mother, Laura Robinson, said: “He absolutely adored his son and would do anything for him.

“It was completely out of character for him.”

Mrs Robinson said her son was a "typical lad in his 20s" with a keen interest in music, motorsports and action films.

She also said he had a "difficult childhood" and had spent time in foster care.

Lynn Brooks, his former partner’s mother, who provided the hearing with a pen portrait of Mr Robinson, said: “We welcomed Alex into our family.

"He was a very proud person and would never ask for help. He was a person who just wanted to be loved.

"Life was just too much for him in the end."

The court heard through evidence from Northumbria Police how Mr Robinson had sent a series of text messages to his father, Jason Pickford, that raised concerns prior to his death.

Mr Robinson wrote: “Look after my dog.”

When asked what that meant, Alex replied: "You know what that means.”

The inquest was told Mr Pickford told police at the time and lodged a complaint in April 2023 because his reports to police before Alex's death did not result in a welfare call.

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Said texts were said to be "open to interpretation", leading PC Kate Walker, of Northumbria Police, who spoke at the inquest, to say an investigation was carried out which found there was "no evidence of a breach of professional standards". 

Assistant Coroner Janine Richards concluded Alex died as a result of suicide.

She said: "In that moment, that is likely to be what Alex intended."

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