Man was found dead in wooded area after battle with alcoholism, inquest hears

Wainford Road, Bungay. PHOTO: Google Maps

Wainford Road, Bungay. PHOTO: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A “hard-working” father was found dead after a lengthy battle with alcoholism.

Benjamin Plumb took his own life on January 12, Suffolk’s area coroner, Jacqueline Devonish, concluded following an inquest into his death on Thursday, November 19.

The 34-year-old night driver lived on Wainford Road, Bungay and was found in a wooded area.

A member of the public found Mr Plumb and tried to shake him awake before leaving to flag down a passing car to alert the emergency services.

Flowers had been placed at the scene by friends and family in the days following Mr Plumb’s death.

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The inquest, held at Suffolk Coroner’s Court, heard a statement from Mr Plumb’s ex-partner Phillipa Holmes, who had known Mr Plumb since September 2013.

She said he used alcohol as an escape.

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Mr Plumb had moved into Ms Holmes’ parents’ home in December 2013, but had been drinking in the mornings.

She said: “As a drunk, Ben was completely different to when he was sober.

“I strongly believe he used alcohol as a coping mechanism rather than to admit his unhappiness.”

She added: “We didn’t go a day without speaking to each other. We needed each other and I still need him.”

The couple split after an incident on holiday in 2019, and Mr Plumb temporarily moved back into his parent’s house, before becoming homeless.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Plumb attempted to take his own life but changed his mind, telling paramedics he had a “lucky escape” and “wasn’t ready to die.”

The inquest heard Mr Plumb would regularly visit his ex-partner and their child before an argument days before his death.

A search of Mr Plumb’s home by police following his death found a note apologising for his actions.

Mr Plumb had reported a history of alcohol and drug use since he was 12-years-old and, at one stage, would drink an average of 18 cans of lager each day.

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 113 123 - 24 hours 7 days a week.

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