A man was found hanging at the front of his mother’s house by an off-duty-police officer after struggling to cope with addiction and the breakdown of his relationship.

Lee Mulligan, 34, was found on the morning of December 16, less than 24 hours after going for a meal with his mother for her birthday.

An inquest at Burnley Magistrates Court heard Mr Mulligan had suffered with drink and gambling problems for some time but was using the withdrawal drug, librium, in an attempt to wean himself off alcohol.

In 2018, he sought help by going to rehab for three months, and came out a completely different person, a lot better in himself and determined to win his battles, it was heard.

However, not long after being discharged, his partner informed him she no longer wanted to be with him.

His mother, Helen Mulligan told the inquest: “He wasn’t allowed to see his children, but he couldn’t get better without them."

The inquest heard Mr Mulligan would often use his mother’s bank card in order to gamble online, the final time being the night before his body was found outside her house on Burwains Avenue in Foulridge.

Mrs Mulligan said: “He had an addictive personality, with the drink and gambling.

"My bank phoned me up that morning to say there was some activity on my account.

“Then the off-duty police officer came in the house.

“He must’ve put one bet on and it wouldn’t take my card because there was no money.

“When he realised he’d emptied my bank account that must’ve been the last straw.

“One day about a year ago he said to me ‘mum, I don’t belong here, please give me your blessing, let me go’.

“I told him I couldn’t do that and he said ‘OK, I will stay just for you, but just for you’.”

Coroner Richard Taylor told the hearing that Mr Mulligan had trouble ridding himself of his addictions,

He said: “He couldn’t cope with the pressure he was under and before he died he succumbed again to drink, librium and gambling.

“It would seem he was overwhelmed by his problems and decided on that morning he would take his own life.

“I have to find a conclusion and there isn’t an alternative explanation.

“My conclusion is suicide.

"Lee Mulligan died on December 16 at Burwains Avenue, Foulridge, having suspended himself by the neck.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Mulligan said her son was a generous and kind person who would do anything for anyone.

If any of the details in this report have affected you, or you are suffering with mental health problems, or need someone to talk to, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.