A WELL-LOVED Old Town character hanged himself over financial worries and an upcoming divorce.
Stephen Mayne, 51, of Albion Lane, was found by his two close friends, Jason Prior and Sven Alexander, at his home following concerns that they could not get hold of him.
An inquest into the barber’s death, which happened on October 13, was held on Wednesday.
Dr John Rowan, Mr Mayne’s doctor, said he had a long history of anxiety and depression and had taken anti-depressants for a number of years. Mr Mayne, also known as Steve-the-hair, ran Hair Raid Shelter, the barbers’ shop next to the West Hill lift in George Street.
In the wake of his sudden death, tributes were paid to him as he had become a familiar face in George Street and throughout Old Town.
The streets of the Old Town were also packed on the day of Mr Mayne’s funeral as a crowd gathered to bid farewell to him. Hundreds joined the funeral procession.
Mr Mayne had lived in Hastings for more than 10 years. He had previously run a shop, Something for the Weekend, in High Street, before opening Hair Raid Shelter.
He was involved in a variety of groups, such as the Skeleton Crew, and the Winkle Club, and was no stranger to charity fundraising.
At Wednesday’s inquest, Dr Rowan said in a statement: “Mr Mayne presented himself many times in a positive manner but it was clear he had many underlying worries. He had increased stress and anxiety due to a break-up of a long-term relationship and other internal family issues.
“His suicide came as a shock to all of us as he had such a positive influence.”
Mr Prior told the hearing that he knew Mr Mayne for 10 years. He said: “Stephen had stresses with money and stresses over the divorce and separation. He was still married.”
Mr Prior added that he got keys to his friend’s flat from his business premises after becoming concerned for him. He later discovered Mr Mayne in the front room.
Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of suicide while the balance of Mr Mayne’s mind was disturbed.