A MUCH-loved son who was found hanged in secluded woodland had been suffering with paranoia before his death, an inquest heard.

In the weeks before Nathan Anthony’s body was discovered on land in Stacksteads, the 38-year-old began to believe that he was being followed every time he left his home.

An inquest at Burnley Magistrates Court also heard how police discovered notes inside his flat, in which he described having ‘constantly suicidal thoughts’.

However his mother Christine, who attended the inquest with family and friends, said although she knew her son was paranoid and suffering with a drink problem, he had never talked about taking his own life.

In a statement read out by coroner James Newman, she described her only son as a ‘happy child’.

She said: “He enjoyed going out with his friends and loved football, but started having difficulties with drinking in his early 20s.

“It started to take control of him.”

The inquest heard how Mr Anthony, of Bacup Road, Stacksteads, was having some issues with neighbours and had been trying to move out of his flat of 15 years.

The council refuse worker went to see his GP shortly before his death and was diagnosed with alcohol dependency.

But despite the issues, family and friends say that Mr Anthony was drinking less in the run up to his death.

On the day that his body was discovered by a walker, Mr Anthony had left his mother’s home to go for a walk and to ‘clear his head’. A toxicology report found that he had been drinking before his death.

The inquest heard how Mr Anthony was a very private person, who lived alone with his dog Jazzy.

In the days before his death Mr Anthony had travelled to Blackpool for a weekend away and then travelled to Fleetwood, to visit the place where his grandmother’s ashes had been scattered.

DI Rachel Higson said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Coroner James Newman said: “Nathan had battled for a long time with alcohol and it had started to damage his physical health. He had started to become erratic and paranoid.

“I can record that Nathan was found dead in woodland on October 23.”