A popular man from King’s Lynn who committed suicide left a heartbreaking note telling his family he loved them and would “watch down on you all forever”.
Lee Calton, 37, was found dead at his home in King George V Avenue on April 15.
He was well-known locally as a big fan of King’s Lynn Town Football Club and a keen supporter of charities, regularly raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House.
His death prompted an outpouring of public grief, with friends lining the streets to pay respects on the day of his funeral. Both the Corn Exchange and Lynn Town Hall were lit up in blue and yellow, the home colours of the Linnets, and mourners lit candles in the Saturday Market Place.
The note left by Mr Calton said: “I’m so sorry that I couldn’t live with this pain anymore. I love you all and will watch down on you all forever.”
An inquest held today (Friday) into Mr Calton’s death heard how the financial advisor had been struggling with mental health issues during lockdown and had talked of wanting to “end it”.
He had set up Lynn-based financial advice firm Calton Murray in 2020 with his best friend, Thomas Murray, but had found it difficult to cope, stating he regretted setting up the business despite it being a success.
He also owned The Studio Hair Company in Lynn’s Blackfriars Road with his wife Claire and both businesses had been adversely affected by the Covid lockdowns, the inquest heard.
In the days immediately before his death, Mr Calton had, at times, been acting out of character and appeared low in mood to those closest to him.
He gave his wife copies of all the bills, telling her she needed to know what needed paying in case anything happened to him.
Concerned at his behaviour, his wife arranged for an appointment with his GP, the inquest heard.
She said her husband found talking about his own feelings very difficult despite the fact he “was always there for others” and added: “I made him promise he would be open with the GP about how low he was feeling.”
His doctor told Mr Calton to self-refer to the Norfolk Wellbeing service and prescribed him anti-depressant medication, but after Mr Calton’s death it was discovered he had not taken any of it.
Mr Murray described his best friend as “a sociable man who liked to go out” but said they had regularly spoken about Mr Calton’s depression and worries.
He said Mr Calton’s mood went downhill in the afternoon the day before he died and he was seen writing in a book, which was unusual as they only used computers for work.
“I think he was writing the letter which he left,” said Mr Murray.
Mr Calton was found dead on the morning of April 15, after both his wife and Mr Murray went to check on him, having become concerned when he failed to turn up for work or respond to messages.
A post mortem examination found no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system and recorded a medical cause of death as hanging. Police found no suspicious circumstances.
Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said she was satisfied from all the evidence that Mr Calton intended to take his own life and recorded a verdict of suicide.