Family describe ‘rollercoaster of despair’ after son took his own life

Lyle's body was found after a large search
Lyle's body was found after a large search

A family have described their ‘rollercoaster of despair’ after the death of their troubled son and brother in Burgess Hill.

An inquest yesterday concluded that 29-year-old Lyle Ensor died by suicide after a long struggle with mental health.

We will always run through the what ifs, torturing ourselves

Disa Knight, Lyle’s sister

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A large search involving a police helicopter was launched in January this year when Lyle went missing, his inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall heard yesterday.

Police sergeant Derek Wood told the coroner how he asked volunteer group Sussex Search and Rescue to assist police.

Lyle’s body was found in woodland near Great Ote Hall in Burgess Hill on January 18.

Speaking at the inquest on behalf of Lyle’s family, his sister Disa Knight said their family has suffered ‘several terrible losses’ in a short period.

She added: “As a child Lyle was a shy character, [but] around family members he was very much a joker.

“Throughout his life he preferred the company of animals to people.

“He relied a lot on alcohol to gain confidence.

“As he got older he found it harder and harder to leave the home.”

She told the inquest how Lyle became more and more withdrawn and said it would not be unusual to not see him for days on end, staying up in his room.

Disa said that he would drink ‘very, very heavily’.

Speaking about Lyle’s death, Disa said his family have been left wondering what could have been.

She said: “We will always run through the ‘what ifs?’, torturing ourselves.

“It has been a rollercoaster of despair and heartache.”

Coroner Fiona King described Lyle as having a ‘fragile personality’.

She added: “Shortly before his death he was involved with the police and he found that very distressing.”

She concluded that Lyle took his own life and gave her best wishes to his family.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Whatever you’re going through, call them free any time, from any phone on 116 123 or you can email them at jo@samaritans.org. They listen.