A “LOVING” family man who had a history of mental health illness died earlier this year after entering a lake during a four-day “bender”.

An inquest held at Winchester Coroners Court on Monday heard that on March 4, Axel Carpenter had “voluntarily” entered the water at Anton Lakes before disappearing beneath the surface. He was unable to swim and his body was later recovered from the lake.

A post-mortem detected a number of drugs in his system, including base amphetamine and cocaine. It was heard at the inquest that while the drugs did not “directly” cause his death, they did cause an acute psychosis as a reaction to the amphetamine and cocaine.

Assistant Coroner for Hampshire Samantha Marsh added that although the drugs affected his free will, his entering the lake was deemed a “deliberate act” nonetheless.

Mr Carpenter’s family were present at the inquest and paid tribute to him.

His sister, Ayla Brown, said: “He was very loving. Loved his children, his nieces, his nephews. In fact, he loved us all really.

“He was a family person. He loved his friends and would do anything for anybody.

His mother, Kim, added: “He was first to help everybody else, but he just couldn’t help himself with the issues he had in his head.”

Mr Carpenter’s history with mental health issues dated back a number of years. His GP, Dr Kamala Pandey, said he had been under the mental health team for many years. He was last seen by the mental health team in 2017 before failing to attend five further appointments.

Speaking at the inquest, his mother, Kim, said: “Axel didn’t like the stigma around mental health.

“He didn’t like the medication because he said it ‘zombified’ him. He said it wasn’t him so he stopped taking his medication.” It was also heard that Mr Carpenter had a history of drug use, but his sister, Ayla, said he was “clean” in the time leading up to his death.

Ayla told the assistant coroner: “We had a chat and basically told him he had to sort himself out and if he came in my house, he had to be clean. And he was. He was looking better, healthier, smiling a lot more.”

However, in the days leading up to his death, Mr Carpenter had taken base amphetamine, keeping him awake for days and causing him to appear paranoid.

“He told me he had been up for four days,” Ayla added.

“He told me on the Sunday that it was the first time he had taken it. But I don’t know how much he had taken and for how long over that four-day period.”

On the day of his death, Mr Carpenter had been at Ayla’s house in the morning, when he was described as “sketchy and irritable”.

“He was calling me a liar, that I was out to get him, that I was recording him.”

Ayla’s brother remained at her house for much of the day, but later left before ending up at Anton Lakes where he entered the water and died.

Assistant Coroner for Hampshire Samantha Marsh delivered a narrative verdict during Monday’s inquest at Winchester Coroners Court.

She said: “Somewhere between 6pm and 6.30pm on March 4, Axel voluntarily entered the lake at Anton Lakes before venturing out to the middle of the lake and disappearing under the surface of the water.”

Mrs Marsh ruled out any third-party involvement and acknowledged that while the drugs he had taken had affected his free will, it appears that entering the lake was a “deliberate act” and therefore the death was not accidental.