AN INQUEST has been opened into the death of a popular volunteer from Basingstoke after he succumbed to mental health pressures.

James Bowman was found dead by his father at his home in Oceana Crescent, Beggarwood, on November 27.

Area coroner Jason Pegg opened the inquest at Winchester Coroner’s Court on Thursday.

He said: “Emergency services were called and police attended soon after confirming that Mr Bowman had died.”

A post mortem has been carried out and a preliminary cause of death has been given as hanging.

Mr Pegg adjourned the hearing for a full inquest to take place on August 18, next year.

Following James’s death tribute have flooded in for the 26-year-old described as “one in a million”.

Speaking to The Gazette, close friend Catherine Davis, 27, said: “James was an amazing person who always put everyone else above himself and would be there, no matter when you needed him. He was always there putting the pieces back together for me. He lit up the room with his smile.”

She continued: “He struggled during lockdown but this feels so unexpected. It’s weird because this was the year his life was turning around. He had just joined the Youth Commission and was helping work on tackling knife crime. He had just bought a new laptop and desk, all ready to do his police course. He just wanted to help people."