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Tributes paid to teenager with ‘cheeky glint in his eye’

PUBLISHED: 14:51 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 22 January 2020

Tributes have been paid to Joseph Chapman. Pictures: Chapman family

Tributes have been paid to Joseph Chapman. Pictures: Chapman family

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Tributes have been paid to a teenager who left his family a lifetime of memories, despite dying aged just 19.

Tributes have been paid to Joseph Chapman. Pictures: Chapman familyTributes have been paid to Joseph Chapman. Pictures: Chapman family

An inquest in Norwich on Tuesday, January 21 heard that Joseph Chapman, known as Chappy, was discovered in woodland on Beach Road, Wells, on July 11 last year.

Area coroner Yvonne Blake concluded that the waiter, who lived in Westfield Avenue, Wells, died by suicide, and the cause of death was hanging.

The inquest heard that Mr Chapman, who studied at the College of West Anglia in King's Lynn, was not taking any prescribed medication. He had been arrested by police for an undisclosed offence, and had an upcoming court case, which weighed on his mind, the inquest was told.

After the inquest, Mr Chapman's mother Victoria Chapman said: "Joe was a normal kid. He overcame his struggles. I could stand here and try to pinpoint a moment in time, why I'm here and my son is no longer, but I don't want to dwell on the past.

"Chappy was the light in a room, the good-looking one, the gentle, loving boy with a cheeky glint in his eye. Those who gave time to get to know my son realised he was rare and one of a kind. My loss comes with great sadness, lots of unanswered questions, but lots of good memories that I catch myself smiling over.

"The day he died was the worst of my life. I never thought it could happen to me. I just find myself to blame - I was too late to save him, knowing that he was dealing with too much without his family.

"Chappy was unique and hard-core on the outside, soft and gentle and just needing a lot of love on the inside. He battled so hard growing up with depression,

"We were so proud he gave up the weed and went to work most days, only to find out his cocaine habit and drink covered up his depression. It's some comfort that that awkward, beautiful soul has not got to fight the demands of society anymore."

Mr Chapman's sister Sadie said: "He was my best friend and he deserved a better life. I'm always going to miss him."

*For help and support visit www.norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk. Alternatively call the Samaritans 24/7 free helpline on 116123 or visit www.samaritans.org

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