A Falmouth postman described as a joker and a man who was devoted to his family, took his own life after he sank into depression when his marriage broke down.

Paul Broglino, pictured left, hanged himself in the garage at his mother, Joy’s home in Redruth, where he had been living, on November 20 last year, but his family and the police believe he acted on impulse rather than planning his death.

At his inquest in Truro yesterday, his sister Teresa Dunne said: “I think that it was not that he particularly wanted to die, but that at that moment, he did not particularly want to live.”

DC Joanne Sodergren agreed, saying: “At that one moment it all just became too much. I do not think there was an element of planning, it was a reaction to how he was feeling at that moment that night.

“It was the loss of everything – the loss of his marriage, his relationship with his children was not particularly good, he lost his home, his pet – everything was just layered on top of one another.”

The inquest heard that Mr Broglino, 51, had been diagnosed with reactive depression after his marriage broke down and that a stay at Longreach Hospital did not help, but in fact he thought it made the situation worse. He had been prescribed anti-depressants, but he did not feel they were working either, and was also under the care of the home treatment team, a 24 hour crisis service.

Team leader Elizabeth Datsun said Mr Broglino had been agitated, suffering from insomnia, not eating and had lost motivation and all interest with things around him. “He had expressed on several occasions that he had suicidal thoughts, but said he would not act on them,” said Ms Datsun.

Speaking of his hospitalisation, Mrs Dunne said: “Unfortunately the whole time he was in there, we had so very little contact with the people looking after him.

“We had no idea what was going on and when we broached it, it was patient confidentiality. Why didn’t anybody speak to us, we may have been able to help him?”

Assistant coroner for Cornwall, Barrie van den Berg, recorded a verdict of suicide and expressed his deepest sympathy to Mr Broglino’s family. “Having read the background to this, he seemed such a decent chap,” he said.

After the inquest, Mrs Dunne, and her brother Anthony Broglino, paid tribute to the popular postie. “He was a wonderful brother, a lovely man who loved his family, his boys, and had great mates who thought the world of him and who miss him dreadfully,” said Mrs Dunne.

“He was very well liked at the Post Office and they said Paul was always telling jokes – bad jokes,” added his brother. “It is the good memories that you hold onto – he was the joker of us all.”

Mr Broglino, who leaves two sons aged 26 and 20, had lived in Falmouth for over 20 years.

He started his working life as a chef at hotels including the Penventon and Falmouth Hotel, but decided to make a change when he found he was not spending enough time with his family. He then started his own gardening business before becoming a postman.

His funeral was held at Treswithian Crematorium where mourners were forced to stand outside due to the number of people wanting to pay their respects. “Postmen came off their rounds and came in their uniforms,” said Mrs Dunne, “and every one of them stopped and gave a tribute at his coffin.”