A CORONER has ruled that a Tynedale-based dog groomer whose body was found in Whitley Bay had committed suicide.

The body of Paul Dove (45) was found on Sunday, November 15 near St Mary’s Lighthouse.

At an inquest in North Shields, senior coroner Eric Armstrong recorded a verdict of suicide after hearing evidence of Mr Dove’s postmortem.

He said: “Paul had the intention to take his own life. He deliberately took his own life with drugs.”

Mr Armstrong read a report from pathologist Catherine Hobday which showed the cause of death to be toxicity.

Dr Hobday reported that levels of fluoxetine, taken to treat depression, found in Mr Dove’s body were in the range associated with fatality.

The dosage was impossible to measure but was said to be five to 10 times that of a normal therapeutic dose.

High levels of the antidepressant trazadone were also found in Mr Dove’s body.

The inquest heard that Mr Dove’s body was found at around 1pm on Sunday, November 15 by Nick Dales who was walking with his children.

One of the children spotted something from the cliff which appeared to be a body. Mr Dales had hoped it was a dummy, but when he realised it was a body, he called 999.

On arrival, PC Claire Batey was handed some medicine packets which were recovered from the body, some of which were empty.

The police contacted Paul’s father Alan Dove who formally identified the body and later provided a full statement.

Summarising the statement, the coroner said: “Paul had just come out of a relationship which had been fractious.

“Alan Dove provided a transcript of texts between his daughter and son Paul. His daughter is deaf and communicates mainly through text.

“Information passing between the brother and sister shows that Paul was depressed and felt he had many problems in his life.

“He apologised to his sister that he didn’t think he had been a good brother; I am sure his sister would have taken issue with that.

“The text messages were sufficient enough to raise alarm within the family.

“Alan was staying in a caravan on the coast when the messages were passed on to him and he contacted the police. It was because of this, police were able to contact him after Paul’s death.”

Mr Dove had worked as a mobile dog groomer across Tynedale for many years before opening the Town and Country grooming salon in Crawcrook. Born in Wallsend, Mr Dove lived in Wark but had temporarily been living with family in Wallsend after the breakdown of his relationship.

The coroner concluded: “The quantity of drugs linked with the messages passed between his sister are enough to say Paul had the intention to take his own life.

“He was aware of what the dosage was and exceeded that. The only possible conclusion I am able to record is one of suicide.”