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Young man who struggled with debt took own life after drug-driving arrest

A young man described as “one of a kind” took his own life after spiralling into dept after leaving home as a teenager, an inquest heard.

Adam Rowbottom’s body was discovered in woodland near a golf course on April 17.

The 27-year-old, from Liverpool, was said to have struggled with debt since he was 15, with his mental health taking a turn for the worst after he was cuffed on suspicion of drug-driving.

The arrest came a week before he died, according to LancsLive.

An inquest at Preston Coroner’s Court heard from his sister, Charlotte Whitlock, who said her brother had told her about the arrest, which happened in Merseyside on April 8.

Ms Whitlock said: “He told me he’d smoked a joint the previous night and went out that day, got pulled over by the police and the drugs wipe test was positive for cannabis.

“He was very concerned that the would get his licence taken off him which was his means of income.

“He was really distressed about it. I know that was huge for him. It was his freedom.”

Karley Hansen, who had been in a relationship with Mr Rowbottom since July 2020, said he had told her he suffered with mental health issues and had considered suicide.

She said: “But he never really showed it; mostly he was happy and outgoing and constantly doing something and keeping busy.

“He used to love taking my young nephews to the park or out on walks.

“But he was getting into debt and it was a real source of stress for him. He was paying about £300 a week for his taxi and that got taken off him in March because he couldn’t keep up the payments.

“He’d never not had a car; a car was a massive thing for him, he didn’t know life without a car.”

The inquest heard Mr Rowbottom, who was a keen hiker and loved camping, was also devastated when he lost many of his belongings after he failed to keep up repayments on a storage unit.

Miss Hansen, who was giving evidence via video link from Greece, said: “That really upset him, he went into a bit of a depression after that. That was in February 2021.

Staff were immediately concerned about some of the references he made in the form and “within an hour” advanced nurse practitioner Christopher Holloway called Mr Rowbottom.

Mr Holloway said: “He said he was having suicidal thoughts and when someone says that it’s an instant red flag.

“But he seemed able to talk to me quite openly and we seemed to develop a rapport.”

Mr Rowbottom, who has previously been described as ‘one of a kind’, was offered an appointment to meet with Mr Holloway in person a week later, on April 12, but he failed to turn up.

However as Mr Rowbottom wasn’t ‘coded’ on the GP’s system as being a vulnerable person, as the coroner said he should have been, there was no attempt to contact him after this and just five days later he was found dead.

Pamela Nixon was walking her dog in woodland near to Beacon Park Golf Club when she came across Mr Rowbottom’s body.

Paramedics were called and despite efforts to resuscitate him Mr Rowbottom was pronounced dead.

Returning a conclusion of suicide the coroner said: “He had a number of difficulties with losing his job and debt which was a cause of anxiety for him.”

Dr Adeley made a point of telling Mr Rowbottom’s family that there was “nothing anyone could have done to change the outcome”.

After the inquest Mr Rowbottom’s mum said she was part of a fundraising campaign to open a drop-in centre in Liverpool for men struggling with mental health issues.

The campaign aims to raise £34,000 for the men’s mental health hub in Kirkdale.

She said: “My daughter and my two brothers are doing a skydive in a couple of weeks and the two people who are leading this, Justin Hopper and Lewis Powell, have been wonderful.

“If we can provide somewhere, where young men who are going through similar times, can go to and get help, and if we can save one life, then it will be a success.

“It’s all about letting people know that there is no stigma; that mental health issues are real and that it’s important to talk about it.”



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