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A HAMPSHIRE student took his own life after struggling with the pressure of university work, an inquest heard.

Fourth-year Masters student Thomas Shearer had been frustrated that an experiment he was carrying out was not showing the expected results.

He was found hanging at his home near Romsey after returning from Manchester for Christmas, Winchester Coroner’s Court heard.

The inquest heard that the 21-year-old had signed up to the university counselling service and had seen his GP for his low mood.

Mr Shearer, of Sand Close, West Wellow, had been involved in a minor road traffic collision on the day of his death, but there had been no injuries, the hearing was told.

Freya Shearer, his sister,said: “He was home from university for around a week. Tom was a bit of a recluse and didn’t have very many friends.”

She added that he seemed in good spirits on the phone prior to her returning home on December 23, to find that he did not answer the door bell.

Mr Shearer’s father Robert said: “He talked about being frustrated about his experiment. It was not showing the results that it should have been. The previous Christmas he seemed to be quite low and that showed in that he became quite upset and angry at times. But we felt he had gotten a lot better.

“We went up to Manchester to see him, he seemed a lot better.”

He added that he and his wife, who were away at the time of his death, had kept in touch with Mr Shearer by messaging, and that there was nothing at all in the conversations to make them concerned.

Coroner Grahame Short said: “The pressure of trying to achieve a degree can cause stress and I think that it probably was underlying his problems at the time. It is a deeply sad death and it is something which must have been a terrible shock both for his sister and his parents.”

He recorded a conclusion of suicide.