A DARLINGTON man took his own life, an inquest heard today (Tuesday, March 12).

A coroner’s court at Chester-Le-Street heard that 23-year-old Thomas Laing of Ingleby Moor Crescent was found hanged at an address on John Dixon Lane in Darlington last September.

Traces of the recreational drug mephedrone – commonly referred to as ‘M-Kat’ or ‘bubbles’ – were found in his body although a pathologist’s report concluded that asphyxiation by hanging was the cause of death.

The report, summarised in court by coroner Crispin Oliver, said that mephedrone had similar effects on users as ecstasy but could result in a ‘come-down’ period of depression afterwards.

The inquest heard that Mr Laing had been out in Darlington on the night of his death and had taken the drug; something which was not unusual for him to do.

In a statement summarised by Mr Oliver, Mr Laing’s partner said that she knew he was “a bit depressed and couldn’t handle life outside jail, but he didn’t want to go back in”.

When Mr Laing’s mobile phone was examined after his death, it contained messages from family and friends asking him to contact them.

Detective Sergeant Sean Jackson of Darlington CID added: “He sent messages to a number of people, saying ‘I hope you can forgive me, there isn’t going to be any more pain’.”

Recording his verdict, Mr Oliver said: “It seems evident that the deceased took his own life, it is evident that I don’t think anybody could have predicted it.

“It was somewhat unexpected, but that is clearly what he did.”