A young dad from Rochdale took his own life after a 'number of traumatic life events' and a battle with mental health problems, an inquest heard.

Mark Topham, 36, was found dead in bed at the family home in Littleborough in November last year.

An inquest into his death heard a shotgun was found laying across his chest and that he died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

His marriage had broken down in the years beforehand and he had been declared bankrupt a year earlier, the hearing was told.

He was also being treated for both depression and ADHD at the time of his death, the hearing was told, with the coroner concluding he had intentionally taken his own life.

Dad-of-two Mr Topham had first sought professional help for low mood in 2014 when he was referred for counselling the inquest was told, before being later prescribed anti-depresessants.

Mark had been diagnosed with ADHD and was being treated for depression an inquest into his death heard

In 2017, he was referred by his GP for assessment at the Learning Assessment and Neurocare Centre (LANC UK) service where he was diagnosed with ADHD in spring of 2018.

His mother said his diagnosis came as a "relief" to him as it "gave him answers as why certain things had happened" during his life.

Mark had split from the mother of his children in 2014 and had been declared bankrupt in 2018, Lyn Topham said.

She said these were two of a number of issues which began to "build-up" and saw his mental health deteriorate "quite quickly" from late September 2019.

Giving evidence via video link she said: "I think it just became too much for him.

"He struggled to cope and to function. With financial management, organisation and things like that.

"He's always struggled with that and I think his marriage breaking down, having to start again and rebuild a home, he ran up a lot of money trying to do it and went bankrupt and it got out of control.

"I think it was just a build-up."

Mark pictured with sister Danica Granata

Mrs Topham said around this time she urged her son to go to A+E to seek further treatment for his mental health, but that he had refused.

She said that after he had moved back in with her and her husband, Mark gave up his role as a self-employed electrician and began talking about "going off grid."

She said in October and November of last year he also arranged meet-ups with friends and relatives he had not seen for a long time, including travelling 400 miles to Scotland to see his auntie unannounced.

He also gave away some items that were precious and sentimental to him.

She said at the time this gave her no cause for concern but that "looking back I think he made his mind up what he was going to do."

At the time of his death his parents were away on a trip to Scotland. However Mrs Topham said she spoke to him on FaceTime on November 24 and he 'looked very happy, he was very jokey.'

In a statement read at the inquest Mr Topham's sister, Danica Granata, who also lived at the family property and had remained at home, said they had sat chatting on the evening of Monday November 25, the day before he died, and that he had "opened up" to her.

She said that during the conversation he had told her that he 'didn't see the point in life.'

She then discovered him in a bed at the house after returning home the following evening, with emergency services called just after 8.20pm. He was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

The inquest heard the firearm found next to him belonged to Mr Topham's father who had a licence for its legal possession.

It had been locked in a cabinet at the home on Higher Shore Road with the keys locked in a safe, with his mother saying she didn't know how he knew where the keys were.

The inquest heard a note addressed to his parents was found in a hardbook notebook part of which read: " Sorry I nicked your keys to the cabinet, I hope I didn't get you in trouble with the police."

Detective Inspector Karl Ward from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said he was "satisfied there was no evidence of homicide" and that no other criminal offences were identified during the investigation into his death.

The undated note he also thanked his parents for their support and detailed his wishes regarding his funeral arrangements, the coroner said.

The inquest heard evidence regarding Mark's interaction with both his GP surgery and the LANC UK service for his mental health difficulties.

However assistant coroner Julie Robertson said she believed they "gave their best efforts to cater for his obviously complex needs" adding she didn't find "that there were any missed opportunities to escalate his care."

She recorded a conclusion of suicide following a full day hearing at at Rochdale Coroner's Court on Thursday.

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Giving her conclusion she also paid tribute to Mark's family saying: "I have no doubt you did everything you could think of to help and support him.

"I cannot imagine how difficult it must to hear a loved one say they don't want to be in this world any longer. It's clear you are a very loving family.

"Whilst hearing the clinical evidence there was no suggestion of suicidal idiation when he was seen by the GP in July and when he was spoken to by LANC UK in Septemeber.

"However I am mindful it was a number of months before his death.

"And it is also clear from his family that from late September his mental health took a serious turn for the worse due to a number of traumatic life events."

Speaking about the day of his death she said: "I am satisfied he deliberately chose to access his father's shot gun and knew where the keys were kept.

"He deliberately sought out the gun to end his own life. He left a note showing active idiation.

"I find all other possible explanations have been duly ruled out."

She added that it had occurred "against the background of long standing mental health issues" and that she didn't believe alcohol or drugs had "impaired his thinking."

Following his death, in an interview with the Manchester Evening News , Mr Topham's family paid heartwarming tributes to keen boxer and weight lifter Mark, the eldest of four siblings.

His younger brother Chris said: "We knew of his struggles, but not to the full extent.

"It's almost like he would have a bit of a giggle about it, so you could never fully pick it up. 

"But every so often you'd get a glimpse of what he was going through."

Brother Mike said: "He was a character - a stereotypical big, strong macho man," he said.

"Don't get me wrong, I don't want to paint him as a saint, because he could make a nuisance of himself, but he was the most loyal man I know.

"He was always called 'Big Dog' and he was the most confident man in the world. He would walk into a room and light it up with his smile.

"But he had some problems. He only ever opened up to those closest to him.

"You saw he had a dark side and he had his demons and struggles.

"But he couldn't show his emotions - even with his kids.

"There's no doubt he loved those little lads to the end of the world, but he couldn't show that emotion in a conventional manner."