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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Strongest man's 'cry for help'
Marc Iliffe
Marc Iliffe was found hanged in his multigym
Britain's strongest man who was found hanged at his home had been taking illegal anabolic steroids, which can cause depression and mood swings an inquest heard.

Marc Iliffe, who won the title in 2002, was discovered hanged from gym equipment at his Northamptonshire home, on 11 February this year.

Northamptonshire coroner Anne Pember recorded an open verdict on the death of Mr Iliffe, of Vivian Road, Wellingborough.

The inquest in Kettering on Thursday was told the 30-year-old had been taking illegal anabolic steroids.

My son wasn't depressed. Frustrated, in turmoil, but not depressed
Mark Iliffe's mother Kathleen Carmichael

He was having some marital and work problems and was disappointed the strongman competition sponsors were not using him in publicity campaigns.

His chances of competing in the World's Strongest Man competition had also been affected by a back injury, which needed surgery.

Mr Iliffe's mother, Kathleen Carmichael, of Rushden, said she was aware of her son's anabolic steroid use and his other problems.

Text message

She felt the hanging was a "cry for help" that went wrong, adding: "My son wasn't depressed. Frustrated, in turmoil, but not depressed."

June Iliffe, who was with her stepson when they found her husband, described how Mr Iliffe had been "devastated" in the aftermath of the strongman competition but she did not think he meant to kill himself.

She said he had text messaged her moments before she had arrived home.

"He knew I was going to be home in the next 20 minutes and he wouldn't have wanted his son to find him."

Strongest man in UK dies
13 Feb 03  |  England
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