Southampton Coroner's Court rules Mark "Eddie" Horsted killed himself after relationship problems

Daily Echo: Mark "Eddie" Horsted Mark "Eddie" Horsted

A DEVASTATED personal trainer killed himself after discovering his on/off girlfriend was planning to abort their unborn child, an inquest heard.

Popular Mark Horsted, known as Eddie, had argued with Victoria Lomas- Piddington about their relationship shortly before he took his own life.

Last night friends and family of the 39-year-old, including colleagues who have set up a memorial to him at the Hampshire leisure centre where he worked, spoke of their loss at his death and paid tribute to a “fantastic, active and adventurous” man.

Southampton Coroner’s Court heard police were called to a house at Old Somerley, near Ringwood, on the afternoon of March 15.

When officers arrived, they found Mr Horsted had hanged himself in the gym attached to the house.

Despite frantic attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement read in court, Ms Lomas-Piddington said she and Mr Horsted had met at David Lloyd in Ringwood about a year earlier, and they soon started dating.

But she said he had been “very insecure” throughout the relationship, with “difficulties”

because she had a child from a previous relationship, and said Mr Horsted had previously threatened suicide.

She said: “It had been on and off with arguments throughout, although there were good spells as well.”

Coroner Keith Wiseman said Ms Lomas-Piddington had described how she had “discussions”

with her former partner about their relationship after he arrived home at 8am.

He said: “She was having a bath while this argument was continuing and Mr Horsted went out and she wasn’t entirely aware where he had gone, but went to the gym and found him.”

Mr Horsted’s sister, Lesley Lillis, told the coroner his family knew about the severity of the relationship problems and their impact on him, but had no inclination he had considered taking his life.

She said: “He confided about the troubles in their relationship, and the last thing being that she was aborting their child.

“He was at the pub the night before with his friends and no one knew anything.

“I had a text just before he died to say he wouldn’t be able to visit mum in hospital as he had a client to see.”

Mr Wiseman said a note found by Mr Horsted’s body, which had two separate dates on it, left no doubt he had intended to kill himself, and recorded a verdict of suicide.

He said: “It’s difficult to call it an impulsive or sudden decision when the note is written beforehand.”

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Lillis paid tribute to her brother.

She said: “He was a fantastic young man and such a popular person – he was loved by everyone.

“He had done an awful lot in his life and was very adventurous and really had lived in the time he was here.”

Leigh Johnson, manager at David Lloyd Ringwood said an outdoor gym has been created at the centre in Mr Horsted’s memory, reflecting his popularity amongst colleagues and customers.

He said: “Eddie was simply a wonderful person who didn’t have a negative word to say about anything. We are all still finding it very difficult to come to terms with his tragic death and will always remember him.”

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