Man found on village playing field had taken his own life
PUBLISHED: 18:20 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 18 April 2019
A man found dead at a community playing field in a quiet South Norfolk village had taken his own life, an inquest has heard.
Steven Rouse, 53, of Long Road, Tibenham, was discovered at the Turnpike community playing field in Bunwell on October 26, 2018.
A black Audi A4 car he had borrowed for a trip to the Lake District the previous four days was found in the nearby car park of Bunwell village hall where a baby and toddler group was taking place when his body was found at 11am.
His trip had been for the 21st birthday celebration of the daughter of one of his friends who also took his own life more than a decade ago.
An inquest in Norwich heard Mr Rouse still shared a home with his former partner Shelley Hallett, though they were in the processes of separating after an eight year relationship, and her 13-year-old daughter.
He had returned from the Lake District visit with the teenager at 10pm. Mrs Hallett said she was woken at 3am by Mr Rouse crashing around in a spare room where a computer was kept. She found he had left the following morning and was unable to contact him.
In statement read out at the hearing, she said: “I tried to call him through the morning but his phone was off which was unusual as we regularly talk throughout the day by text.”
Two mobile phones belonging to Mr Rouse and the tower part of his desktop computer found to be missing after his death have never been found.
The inquest heard the builder, who specialised in brick work on historic buildings, had been looking forward to the future including a possible new business partnership.
His parents Bill and Gloria Rouse, who live in Lewisham in South London, have appealed for help to find out what happened to their son in his final hours.
The inquest was told that the medical cause of his death was hanging.
Ruling that he took his own life, Norfolk area coroner Yvonne Blake said: “I quite see why you would have your doubts about why he would do such a thing because things seemed to be on the up and up. So instead of giving a conclusion of suicide, what I propose to say is that Steven Rouse took his own life but there is no evidence as to why he took this course of action or whether he had the ability to form the necessary intent.”