A MAN at the centre of a dramatic armed siege with a meat cleaver was found hanging in the garden of his Hampshire home.

Matthew Cummings held the cleaver to a man’s throat during the eight hour stand off while shouting at armed police “I’ll die here today” and “you’ll have to shoot me”.

The incident ended after the 36-year-old gave himself up and he was jailed for 16-months.

But three years after the siege Mr Cummings was found dead in the back garden of his home in the New Forest.

And now his mum has called for more awareness for the effect of brain injuries.

This comes after an inquest into his death heard how Mr Cummings, who was from the Lymington area, suffered from a brain injury after a road accident in 2004.

His mother Debbie said from that moment his life changed.

She said Mr Cummings was arrested after he phoned the police saying a man with a meat cleaver was threatening to kill two hostages in Bournemouth on September 2015.

But Mrs Cummings said he did that because he was hoping the police would shoot him.

The inquest heard how Mr Cummings started using drugs and alcohol after the road accident but had come off them.

Despite the support of the Totton-based charity Headway Southampton he struggled and took his own life on August 3, 2018, the court was told.

Giving evidence during the inquest held at Winchester Coroner’s Court, Mr Cummings’ mother said: “He became very frustrated. He just wanted to be normal, that is what he used to say to me. From the moment he had that brain injury he had changed.”

The court heard how alcohol but no drugs was found in his body at the time of his death.

Recording a verdict of suicide, senior coroner Grahame Short said: “It is clear to me that he had a troubled life including using drugs and alcohol and significant head injury.

"All of these factors contributed to his problems.

"He did find life generally hard. Matt did benefit from counselling by the charity in Totton.

"Mrs Cummings did everything she could to protect Matt but he was too damaged by his life experience to cope with what happened and this is why he made this decision.”

Now Mrs Cummings is asking for more awareness to be raised about the effects of brain injuries and more support to be provided.

She said: "We want brain injuries to be recognised. You won’t know with Matt he had a brain injury because he looked particularly normal.

"His memory was very affected. We want what happened to Matt to be a lesson to help other people and for him to be remembered because he seriously was a lovely person and has left a big hole in the lives of many.

"He helped everybody else but himself. He was loving and caring.

"Family meant everything to him but he felt that he failed us because he was not well.”

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