Suffolk-based actor had struggled for work before death, inquest hears

IP-city centre Ipswich where the inquest was held

IP-city centre Ipswich where the inquest was held

The best friend of a Suffolk-based actor who took his own life after struggles for work has described him as “charismatic” and “full of vibrancy”, an inquest heard.

Nicholas Newman, 55, of Orford Road in Sudbourne, was found at his home on August 9 last year by his best friend Linda Barren and emergency services, after he had failed to respond to her calls.

The inquest, held at IP-City Centre in Ipswich, heard that Mr Newman had struggled with the irregularity of acting work, and had spent the last decade caring for his mother.

It was heard that his mother’s death and the death of his dog two years ago had contributed to his low mood, which had prompted him to drink.

A report from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust revealed that Mr Newman had been offered counselling appointments in January, but had failed to attend the arranged times, and was discharged in May.


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A toxicology report read out at the inquest explained Mr Newman had more than twice the legal drink-drive limit in his system at the time of his death, as well as the prescribed drug Zolpidem, which is used to treat insomnia, at a level above what is considered therapeutic.

Assistant coroner Nigel Parsley concluded that Mr Newman died from respiratory depression, as a result of combined use of Zolpidem and alcohol.

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Paying tribute to Mr Newman in her documentary statement, Ms Barren described him as “handsome, charismatic and full of vibrancy” but said he had “become increasingly unhappy with the life he was leading,” and added that “success in his chosen profession proved elusive.”

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