A ST Dogmaels teenager was “deeply troubled” prior to his death at the end of last year, an inquest has heard.

Michael Barry William Nicholas, known to many as ‘Mikey’, 17, of Maesyhyfryd, St Dogmaels, was found dead on October 24 last year at Y Graig, a wooded area on the banks of the Teifi near the village.

Jeremy Davies, coroner’s officer for Dyfed-Powys Police in Pembrokeshire, told the court at Milford Haven Town Hall about the circumstances which led to Mr Nicholas’ death.

Mr Nicholas had been working as an apprentice carpenter with a family friend in St Dogmaels for most of 2017, after enrolling on Pembrokeshire College’s carpentry course in September 2016.

Mr Davies described how family and friends had noticed a change in Mr Nicholas’ mood following a break-up with an ex-girlfriend.

“He had a favourite song and he told friends he wanted it playing at his funeral,” said Mr Davies.

On Monday, October 23, Mr Nicholas went to Fishguard on his motorbike to meet up with his ex-girlfriend, and while there had told her he wanted to end his life.

Later that day, he spoke to his stepfather, the last person to see him alive, who thought he seemed his normal self as he left the house.

When Mr Nicholas did not return home, his family became concerned and posted messages on social media. One friend, Ethan Jameson, replied saying Mr Nicholas had called him at 11pm, and had told him he was down by the river Teifi.

“He said he was distressed and didn’t want to be here anymore,” Mr Davies told the court, adding that his friend did not think he would harm himself.

Mr Nicholas’ mother Tracy was visited by two of his friends, who searched near the river and drove through St Dogmaels looking for him that evening.

Mrs Nicholas stayed up all night waiting for her son to come home, and knew something was wrong when he did not return.

She reported him missing on the morning of October 24, and police, the coastguard, and RNLI conducted a search.

Later that morning, Mr Nicholas’ body was found by two dog walkers.

A post-mortem gave the cause of death as hanging and recorded cannabis in Mr Nicholas’ blood which indicated use of the drug prior to his death.

His blood alcohol level was 20 micrograms per millilitre of blood. The drink driving limit is 80 micrograms per millilitre.

Mark Layton, coroner for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire recorded a conclusion of suicide.

He said: “Michael Barry William Nicholas was deeply troubled by personal events in his life. I conclude he has taken deliberate attempts to end his life.

“I pass on my condolences to his family.”

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