A photographer from Cambridge texted a crisis helpline that he was “sorry to be the bearer of bad news” before taking his own life in Dunwich, an inquest heard.

The inquest into the death of Martin Searle concluded at Suffolk Coroners' Court in Ipswich on Thursday.

His body was found by emergency services on the evening of January 27 this year.

The court heard that Mr Searle, 40, had moved back home to Cambridge in the summer of 2022 after travelling in Portugal. He was a photographer and also worked as a project manager in digital development.

Presiding coroner Catherine Wood read a tribute to Mr Searle, prepared by his family. As a child, they said, Mr Searle was sociable and easy going, enjoying playing with friends and his sister.

As an adult, he greatly valued his friends and travelled widely for his work. They said that Mr Searle “saw the world in creative and interesting ways”, and had a vast general knowledge of topics such as history, economic and current affairs.

However, after returning to the UK, they said that Mr Searle seemed increasingly anxious, although he never discussed suicidal thoughts with them.

The court heard that at 8.30pm on January 27, Mr Searle had texted the crisis hotline SHOUT, saying that he was “sorry to be the bearer of bad news”.

After giving his location in Dunwich, Mr Searle wrote that he “wasn’t intending on waking up tomorrow”, and requested that the service notify the local authorities.

A supervisor at SHOUT called the emergency services, and were initially put through to the ambulance service in Sussex. However, this was resolved within minutes.

The police were the first to arrive at 9.45pm. Although officers were not able to reach Mr Searle immediately, Mrs Wood said that it was likely that Mr Searle had died by the time they arrived.

Mr Searle was discovered in his car, with a typed three-page letter placed on his dashboard.  

In the letter, Mr Searle said he had “carried on for as long as I could, but I just can’t make it any further”.

Mrs Wood ruled a conclusion of suicide, and said that her heartfelt condolences were with Mr Searle's family.

If you need urgent mental health support call NHS 111 and select option 2 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.