A JEALOUS boyfriend who took his own life after he became obsessed with winning back his ex-partner had a history of violence and injecting legal highs, an inquest was told.

Robert Gerrard Gorton, aged 52, of Burnham, was found hanging by a member of the public in the early hours of June 19, near the Bridgwater Canal in Bridgwater.

In a statement read to the court, Anthony Lock, who called the police, explained how his partner Janet Stevens saw Mr Gorton and asked him to check if the man was alive.

Mr Gorton’s ex-girlfriend Cornelia Williams, aged 33, told the court how she had been with him for over five years before leaving him after he assaulted her in March.

In a statement read to the court, she said he was overly possessive of her and had hit her on several occasions before she decided to leave him because she “didn’t want to be a punchbag any more”.

Ms Williams told the inquest: “When he found out I was seeing someone else he said he would take me back anyway.”

Mr Gorton had been refusing to eat or take medication for his severe epilepsy and was injecting legal highs known as Posh and Rush.

The court heard how he used this against Ms Williams, who added: “It was easier to be with him than leave him.”

Coroner Michael Rose said: “This is a tragic case of a 52- year-old man who was resorting to legal highs.

“I do not think they are directly responsible for the death but can be responsible for causing somebody to do something they would not have otherwise done.”

He concluded that Mr Gorton took his own life. o AT the time of his death, Mr Gorton’s brother and a family friend appealed for help to find out what had led to the tragedy.

Paul Gorton and Peter Wakeford travelled from Lancashire, where the family lives, to visit the site where Mr Gorton died.

Mr Wakeford told the Mercury at the time: “He wasn’t the same person when he moved down here. This is just not like him and it has been devastating for us all.”

For confidential help, call the Samaritans on 08457-909090.