A Falmouth man who hanged himself at his home could have been suffering from amphetamine psychosis, but had been trying to give up drugs and had none in his system when he died, an inquest has heard.

Mark West, a 31 year old carpet fitter, had recently split up with his girlfriend Coral Andrewartha and had reported suffering from paranoia and a "breakdown" when he took his own life on March 31 or April 1 this year.

The inquest in Truro heard how Mr West had been taking speed since he was about 17, but wanted to get off the drug, partly due to its effects on his relationship with Miss Andrewartha.

Mr West's mother, Jan West, who lived with her son in Trefusis Road but had been staying with a friend while he carried out some decorating, said he had told her about his drug use and plans to quit just four weeks before his death.

She said the day before he died he had talked about going on holiday with his girlfriend, and it was "the first time he had been that positive for ages."

Mr West had told her that "Coral had given him his final warning," Mrs West said," and "he wasn't paranoid," but thought his girlfriend was seeing someone else, and that he had "just seemed to be so alone," in the weeks before his death.

The inquest heard from Mrs West and Miss Andrewartha about Mr West's "trust issues," in his relationship, and Miss Andrewartha said when she had been unable to contact him after not meeting for an appointment he had taken all of her belongings from the house they shared, and they had split up on March 15.

She said they had not spoken for a day, and after that he was "regretful, and apologised for the way he had spoken to me."

She said he had his phone stolen in the weeks before his death, and had accused the police, and then his friends and neighbours, and then her, and he had also started worrying that she was spying on him for the police, or that she was being mind controlled. He had also contacted anti-terror police to "report himself."

She told the inquest the last time she saw him they had walked on the beach at Mullion and talked about saving up for a house. But the last contact they had was a series of text messages on March 31, during which they discussed "just being friends."

Hannah Smith, a friend of Mr West, said he often visited her to talk about his problems, including relationship problems or drug use, and they had discussed his paranoia.

She said he had told her that speed "isn't psycho-active and doesn't mess with his mind," and she told him that even if that was the case sleep deprivation would.

She said the last time she saw him, on March 21, he said he had quit drugs and she believed him as he was "completely different that day."

The inquest also heard a statement from PC Evans, a Falmouth police officer and relation of Mr West by marriage, who said the two had talked while he was off duty about Mr West's belief that he was being followed by police, but that he had been unable to take any good pictures of them.

Detective Constable Simon Roberts, a drugs liaison officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, said speed is "more psychologically addictive" than physically, although the body can become dependent "to a degree". He added that the come-down from the drug can be "quite severe" and cause anxiety and depression, leading to someone wanting to take more to "bring them up to a level."

He added that prolonged use can cause "amphetamine psychosis", with symptoms including "anxiety, depression and paranoia."

A post mortem examination gave the cause of death as hanging, and a toxicology report found only trace amounts of painkillers, caffeine and nicotine in his blood, with no significant levels of prescription or illicit drugs.

Mr West's mother found him dead at his house on April 1 at around 2.45pm, and the last contact he had was with Miss Andrewartha at around 6.30pm on March 31.

Recording a verdict of suicide, assistant coroner Guy Davies said: "Mark had contemplated suicide in the months leading up to his death.

"The death occurred as a result of a deliberate act by Mark and he intended that the outcome would be his own death."

In a statement, Mr West's family said: "Mark West, known fondly to many as Westy, was our much loved son, grandson, nephew and friend. The passing of Mark in April was a devastating and unexpected shock to everyone and we continue to feel the impact of his loss every day. He was a hugely loving person, bold, caring, loyal and kind and will be forever missed."

They asked family and friends to donate money in Mark's memory to Papyrus, a charity aimed at preventing young suicide, and said: "It is with irrevocable sadness that we could not save Mark, but over £1,600 has been raised for Papyrus so far."

They added: "We have been touched by the enormous show of love and the messages of support. They have provided us comfort in knowing that Mark was loved by so many."

For information on Papyrus visit https://www.papyrus-uk.org/, or to speak to the Samaritans call 116 123.