A PAINTER and decorator who hanged himself at his Staveley home was ‘making a cry for help’, an inquest heard.

Oliver Phillips, 40, telephoned police to say he was going to hang himself, PC Robert Dixon told the hearing at County Hall, Kendal.

PC Dixon and a colleague found Mr Phillips at his Sunny Brow Farm address on July 20.

They started performing CPR until paramedics arrived but there were no signs of life.

His mother, Susan, told South and East Cumbria Coroner Ian Smith that her son ‘hated’ being on Jobseekers’ Allowance, one of about 20 issues which she said were ‘getting to him’.

Another was the fear that he may not be able to fulfil his wish of joining the Territorial Army.

She also told Mr Smith that the family thought Mr Phillips may have had bipolar, otherwise known as manic-depressive disorder.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, Mr Smith said: “He rang the police to say: ‘I’m going to do this’. They turned up quickly, but sadly not quickly enough, but that’s not their fault. He was making a cry for help in a very misguided way because of what happened.

“He was trying to get help, it seems to me. He phoned 999, he got the police, they were trying to keep him talking. The problem is that hanging renders you unconscious in seconds and probably dead inside a minute — there is no time to play with. Someone who is doing that as a cry for help is more than likely to end up dead.”

Mr Phillips’ family said after the inquest: “Ollie was our bright star - loving, loyal and kind with an impossibly good sense of humour.

“He was that rare thing in life; a true gentleman in whose company a great time was guaranteed.”