Inquest told of 'unique' talent of Argus reporter found hanged

By Lou Thomas

An inquest heard how a Brighton Argus journalist who committed suicide "brought in stories no one else could".

Veteran reporter Rowan Dore was found hanging from his bathroom door by flatmate Lee Harding in December.

Dore’s son Joseph later discovered a suicide note in a jacket on a nearby stair banister.

Phil Mills, crime reporter at the Argus, said: "He was unique. He enjoyed socialising and often bumped into people socially and brought in stories no one else could."

Mills said Dore was less jovial and more reserved after his father’s death in May last year. He told the inquest Dore would pace between their desks saying, "I just can’t handle it. I just can’t cope."

Mills said: "He reminded me of a caged animal." He added that Dore’s public face was still jovial and highly sociable.

Dore, 56, had an arrangement with the Argus to leave at lunchtime each day. Mills said: "We almost had to push him out of the office, he was so keen to pull his weight. He never once took advice or assistance from me, but that didn’t detract from the affection I felt for him."

The inquest heard that Dore had debts of £80,000. At the time of his death he was expected to receive money to clear the debts from the sale of his father’s home within a few weeks.

A letter from psychiatrist Dr Noushin Farhoumand to community psychiatric nurse David Maxwell, said: "He admitted to living beyond his means, but refused to let his 12 credit cards go."

Dore had been seeing Maxwell on the advice of his GP since October.

Maxwell prescribed anti-depressants, but Dore told him that he hadn’t taken any of the medication.

Dore’s daughter Lucinda said: "He was very embarrassed about his situation and had always been very reluctant to take any sort of medication."

She told the inquest that two weeks before her father died she informed him of the suicide of the family dentist.

She said: "I told him I didn’t want him to write the story and wanted him to give it to someone else. He felt that he wanted to do the story because he was a friend."

Summing up, coroner John Hooper said it was beyond reasonable doubt that Dore took his own life.

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