The grieving family of a man whose body was discovered in the sea at Blackpool today paid an emotional tribute to a “well-loved” son.
The parents of Paul Miller, 44, whose body was found close to the beach at Starr Gate by a couple walking their dog earlier this year, said they “miss him every day”.
In the early hours of June 24, Mr Miller, of Dunelt Road, South Shore, left his home to go for a walk, saying he needed to clear his head.
When he didn’t return, the police were alerted and he was later identified as the man found on the beach at around 10.50am that day.
Speaking after an inquest into her son’s death, Carol Miller, also of South Shore, said: “We loved him so much and he loved us.
“We miss him every day – he is always in our hearts.”
The inquest heard the mechanic had struggled with mental health issues but was seeking help at the time of his death.
He also had a history of drug use but had been clean for 17 days before his death.
However, a toxicology report found Mr Miller had taken a small amount of diazepam shortly before he died.
The inquest heard Mr Miller’s problems became so bad at one point that he was sectioned for his own safety.
On one occasion, he was brought to the A&E department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital by police because he attempted to stab himself in the stomach. In order to restrain him, officers ended up using a Taser on Mr Miller.
A mental health nurse who looked after Mr Miller said he had been looking forward to the future shortly before his death.
Amanda Connelly-Phoenix said: “He was making plans that if he went to Bournemouth (for treatment) he would perhaps try and get away from Blackpool and all his acquaintances so he could start a life without drugs.”
Recording a narrative verdict, coroner for Blackpool and Fylde Alan Wilson said: “In the absence of knowing how Paul came to be in the sea, I have decided I must fall short of saying whether he intended to take his own life.”
Mr Miller’s father, Brian Miller said after the inquest his son was a popular man.
He added: “He was just a local lad from South Shore – all his mates turned up for the funeral and he was well-loved by his family. But he has his problems. He was a normal sort of guy but then the drugs got hold of him.”