A MOTHER has described how her loving son took his own life after being accused of rape.
Keith Porter, 35, was found hanged at his home in Church Street, Highbridge, by his mother Rita.
She told an inquest into her son's death last week the accusations, which she and the rest of Mr Porter's family insist are false, caused him to commit suicide.
She said: “I love my son so much. He was happy, loving, giving, sensitive, a real joy and somebody to be proud of.
“He was falsely accused of rape and I believe his actions were because of the allegations made against him.”
Mr Porter died on May 29 this year, nearly three months after he was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman known to him.
The hearing heard the alleged offence dated back several years and Mr Porter had met the woman concerned on many occasions since.
He was on bail at the time of his death and had not been charged.
Mrs Porter added at the hearing: “Every time we met he would say 'Mum, I don't know why she's done this'.
“As the weeks went by he really became a shadow of himself and lost a lot of weight.
“He was crestfallen to think that he had been accused of such a thing and we were all in support of him.”
Mr Porter's father Michael told the inquest his son had mentioned self-harming two weeks before his death, but had reassured his dad he would never go through with it.
He said: “That's why it was such a shock.
“I think it must have been a cry for help. I never ever believe that he intended to do what he did.”
Mr Porter, who worked for conservatory makers David Salisbury in Highbridge until being made redundant last November, had played football for Burnham United and was a keen golfer and skittler.
He had been in a relationship with Pauline Best for five years.
They lived together and had been talking about marriage.
She told the inquest: “He was a very sensitive, loving person.
“Our relationship was a lovely, happy, jolly relationship until this allegation. This allegation is why we're here today.”
West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed, to give the woman who made the rape allegation the opportunity to attend the next hearing.