Gifted young Burnley man was found dead at home

Andrew Peter Allen (s)
Andrew Peter Allen (s)

A gifted young man from Burnley took his own life after a long battle with depression.

Andrew Allen (23) was found hanged in the bathroom of his home in St John’s Road, Burnley, on March 25th.

The former pupil of Ightenhill Primary and Ivy Bank Secondary schools loved music and taught himself to read music at an early age.

Speaking after his death, Andrew’s heartbroken parents David and Alison said they wanted to help raise awareness of mental health problems and urged more people to speak out about mental illness.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard Andrew described as a gifted young man who had recently returned from a year’s studying in Australia, “passionate about his future.”

But Mrs Allen also said that Andrew had struggled to overcome his demons and had abused cannabis and alcohol.

She said: “Andrew was very intelligent but at school he was a square peg in a round hole.

“He missed chunks of school and didn’t take any exams. However, he completed some courses with the Prince’s Trust and then studied environmental sciences at Burnley College. He really enjoyed it and I think he found his niche.

“However, he still seemed to find it easier to follow the wrong path. I knew he was drinking at the time.

“He then went to Myerscough College and his second year was spent in Australia. He came back really enthused and passionate about what he was doing.

“I was delighted for him because he’d previously been short of confidence. He said he wanted to go back to Melbourne as soon as possible.

“But when he went back to finish his third year, trouble started. He was drinking heavily and using cannabis.”

The inquest heard that Andrew became paranoid, had several stays in Burnley General Hospital’s mental health ward and made three attempts on his life.

The inquest heard that Andrew moved into his own house in September last year, but again became very down.

A post-mortem examination carried out by pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud showed that Andrew had died from hanging.

Toxicology tests showed therapeutic levels of two anti-depressants and moderate amounts of alcohol and cannabis.

The pathologist said these played no direct role in his death but there was “a possibility that his state of mind might have been affected.”

Recording a narrative verdict, East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said that Andrew took his own life while suffering from depression.