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Luke Pullman from Greenhithe hanged himself in woods almost four years after brother jumped from the QEII Bridge, Dartford, inquest hears

The suicide of a man from Greenhithe was the second such tragedy his family had suffered, an inquest heard.

Luke Pullman, 38, killed himself almost four years after his brother, William, jumped from the QEII Bridge in Dartford in January 2012.

Mr Pullman, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was found hanging in woodland in Cotton Lane, Stone, on December 15 last year.

Luke Pullman was found in woodland off Cotton Lane, Stone
Luke Pullman was found in woodland off Cotton Lane, Stone

He had been reported missing by his concerned family four days earlier and police carried out an extensive search having deemed it a high risk missing person inquiry.

The operation to find him also involved Kent Search and Rescue, the police helicopter and dogs, as well as a Kent Fire and Rescue Service drone. Numerous searches and house-to-house inquiries were carried out.

Mr Pullman, who lived alone in Winston Close and was unemployed, was found by two men said at the inquest hearing to be surveying the area.

He was just over 1km from his home and the inquest was told dogs had searched the area on December 12 and 13 but Mr Pullman was not found.

A post-mortem examination was carried out and cause of death was given as suspension.

Luke Pullman was regarded by police as a high risk missing person
Luke Pullman was regarded by police as a high risk missing person

Det Sgt Paul Fewtrell said at the hearing at Gravesend's Old Town Hall that Mr Pullman's demeanour had changed in the days leading up to his disappearance and a suicide note was found at his home.

He was known to become withdrawn when not taking his medication and the inquest heard he failed to turn up for football training on December 4 and then cancelled an outing planned for December 10.

DS Fewtrell said Mr Pullman was seen in the Irish Club in Dartford on December 6 but was described as "not being himself and not engaging in conversation".

The last known sighting of him was in an Asda car park carrying a rucksack on December 9.

Relatives called at his home over the next two days but Mr Pullman could not be found.
He was then reported missing after a sister found the suicide note.

"Words cannot express our devastation at the loss of Luke, he was our kind-hearted and caring brother" - Sisters Bessie Pullman and Emma Hills

DS Fewtrell also told the hearing that Mr Pullman had been seen by a doctor at Littlebrook Hospital in Stone on November 27.

In 2012 he had gone to the same hospital threatening to kill himself.

The hearing was also told that his brother's death had had "a big impact" on his family who had searched for days to find him.

Recording a verdict of suicide, North West Kent coroner Roger Hatch said: "It's clear from the contents of the suicide note of his intention.

"I'm fully aware of his mental health issues and the treatment he had been receiving over the years."

Mr Hatch concluded the hearing by expressing his condolences to Mr Pullman's family.

His mum, Christina McDermott, did not wish to comment after the inquest.

At the time of his death, however, the family paid tribute to a "kind-hearted and loving" man.

Their frantic search had included appeals on social media, setting up a Facebook page and displaying posters.

Mrs McDermott described her son, who boxed for White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley as a child, as "very gentle and always smiling".

Gravesend Old Town Hall
Gravesend Old Town Hall

She added: "He was always willing to help others and he was very kind... He liked most sports and enjoyed playing darts. Luke was a loving son, brother and uncle. He was just a lovely person. He loved to read anything and was always good at quizzes."

A statement from Mr Pullman's sisters, Bessie Pullman and Emma Hills, said: "Words cannot express our devastation at the loss of Luke, he was our kind-hearted and caring brother.

"He will be forever in our hearts and always on our minds. We will miss him so, so much."

After he was found, Mr Pullman's family wrote on Facebook of their devastation and thanked everyone who had helped in the search.

"We are so very grateful for everything that has been done to find Luke," they said. "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Donations made at his funeral in January were to be split between the mental health charity Mind and missingpeople.org

If you know someone who is feeling the pressure, get them to call 0800 107 0160 or visit www.releasethepressure.uk

Support is free and confidential, provided by an independent charity and funded by Kent County Council.

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