‘Fantasy world’ Burnley man thought mobile phone tapped

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A popular Burnley man who “lived in a fantasy world” took his own life, a coroner ruled on Tuesday.

Lee Courtenay Collinge (44) of Newton Street was found dead at his home on April 15th, Burnley Coroner’s Court heard.

It is very depressing for a family to see a loved one suffer in this way

Coroner

Dr Muhammad Aslam, consultant histopatholgist for East Lancashire conducted the post-mortem of Mr Collinge and concluded he died as a result of hanging.

Mr Collinge was found with multiple self-inflicted wounds to his left wrist and foot.

Toxicology reports show he had low levels of alcohol, cannabis and amphetamine in his system, but Dr Aslam confirmed these were unlikely to have contributed to his death.

His neighbour and friend Jonathan Green said Mr Collinge “lived in a fantasy world” and believed his mobile phone was tapped and spy cameras had been installed in his house.

Mr Green saw Mr Collinge less frequently during the last two years of his life but said his friend had become “more paranoid”.

Mr Collinge’s sister Cheryl-Anne said in a statement she believed her brother’s problems stemmed from the death of their mother in July 1990.

She said her brother was “very outgoing” and had “lots of friends”.

Mr Collinge was taking prescription painkillers, especially codeine because of a shoulder injury that forced him to give up his job as an electrician.

In December 2013 he broke up with his girlfriend of three years and became increasingly isolated.

“It is very depressing for a family to see a loved one suffer in this way,” said East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor.

“His health deteriorated and he had some ideas that simply were not able to be correct.”

Mr Taylor ruled that Mr Collinge took his own life.