A TALENTED artist took his own life the day after a police interview to inform him of historic allegations he faced was cancelled, an inquest has heard.

Alan Leslie Taylor, 59, was found dead at his home in Falmouth by his partner Sheila Rees on October 2 last year.

Assistant coroner for Cornwall, Guy Davis told the inquest that he would not go into the details of the allegations as an inquest was not the forum to discuss it.

"He was facing unspecified allegations in the final days of his life," he said. "I am not making an enquiry into the veracity of these allegations. They fall outside the jurisdiction of this court.

"This is not a trial, nobody is on trial today. This is not a role of a coroner's court."

In his report to the court, Mr Taylor's GP Dr Richard Williams said he had not had much contact with Mr Taylor but in August 2015 he had come to the surgery in great distress after working in a factory clean room for a whole weekend.

It had brought back terrible family memories from when he was a teenager. It was felt that he was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

He was referred for therapy to NHS psychological therapy service supplied by Outlook South West but appeared to have never taken up the treatment offered.

In a statement read out by Mr Davis, Ms Rees said that Mr Taylor had been born in Cullompton, Devon gone to school in Plymouth before attending art college. She said he had a real talent for art. He worked for Devonport Dockyard and for British Rail and he had been married and had two children.

He had moved to Constantine and then Falmouth, living in Killigrew Street and then moving in with a friend. He went to Falmouth Art College and got a BA honours in graphic art and design.

She met him when they both worked at Watson Marlow and, after her marriage broke down, they got together in 2012 and in 2013 he moved in with her.

"Alan was a very special person," she said. "I never failed to be impressed with his knowledge of so many things. He knew everything about nature and wildlife and when we went walking he knew the names of all the plants and trees we would see.

"He loved to photograph, document and find out all about them. We shared a love of ancient Egypt and Alan's breadth of knowledge on that subject was encyclopaedic.

"His artistic talent was amazing he could draw or paint anything but his portraits and images of people's pets were very special. He was commissioned by lots of people in work to do work for them."

But, she said about two weeks before he died he had a phone call from the police who told him they wanted to speak to him and they would be in contact with him within a fortnight. She said Alan wasn't aware that the police had his mobile telephone number but they said they wanted to speak to him about historic allegations going back ten or 12 years.

She said a police officer then rang him on October 1 telling him that an interview scheduled at Falmouth Police Station on the afternoon of October 2, 2020, where he would be told what the allegations were, had been cancelled.

The week leading up to October 2, she said Alan had been working normally but had come home early one day saying that something odd had happened at work. A group in the canteen had been clearly talking about him.

He said he felt awful at work and was struggling with what the allegation may be about. He said: 'It must be something bad.' He said he couldn't think what they were about.

"The effect that this news of the police investigation in short space of time was enormous," she said. "He felt ill, he couldn't go into work, stayed in his room with the curtains drawn, he didn't shower which was out of character for Alan."

"On the first of October he was told that his interview would have to be postponed to the fifth of October. I think this was devastating news for him.

"He just wanted to get it over, he had been waiting for weeks already."

She said the next day, when she got up she realised that Alan had not gone to bed as he was still in the same clothes from the night before. She said he looked so old, he had aged 20 years in a couple of weeks.

He asked if she was OK then insisted that she picked up a prescription for him when she went to visit her mother.

When she got home at 10.30am she realised that the loft ladder was down and the hatch open. At first she was pleased as this was where Alan kept his art stuff but as she approached the ladder she saw a note at the base of it with the word 'Sorry I love you'. At first she thought it was a sweet note but then she saw the words 'we will meet again' and Alan's body in the loft space and panic set in.

She called the emergency services. He was pronounced deceased at 11:10am.

"I am unhappy with the whole situation," she said. "Alan's taken his life over an allegation that stems fro ten or 12 years ago. I am disappointed that it took the police two weeks to tell Alan what they wanted to speak to him about."

She said she had spoken to a DC Donnell and expressed her unhappiness with the police conduct.

In an extract from the note left at the scene Mr Taylor declared himself innocent of any charges. He said: "I am innocent but I cannot live with the shame of being accused and everything that will come of it and I cannot bear to think of you suffering. Please forgive me for that."

In his summing up Mr Davis said Mr Taylor had suffered a traumatic incident in his childhood that had left him with suspected PTSD.

"He faced allegations in the days preceding his death which had clearly had a profound and significant impact on him," he said.

"On receiving the phone call postponing that interview Alan clearly decided he could no longer cope with the uncertainty of his position and that he decided to take his own life."

He recorded a verdict that Mr Taylor had intentionally taken his own life .