AN INQUEST into the death last year of York punk rocker Stevie Ze Suicide has heard that he took his own life.

Stevie, aka Stephen Roberts, who was the UK Subs' drummer at the height of punk rock in the late 1970s, hanged himself at his home in The Groves, said coroner Richard Watson.

He was found by his wife Jude when she returned home on October 8 last year, and she rushed out into the street to get help from neighbours.

Neighbour Barry Blue performed CPR on Stevie for five minutes until police and paramedics arrived and took over.

Stevie was still alive and was taken as an emergency to York Hospital, where he was treated in intensive care for 72 hours.

However, his condition did not improve, and doctors found he had suffered from irreversible brain damage and he died on October 11.

Police who attended the scene said they were satisfied there were no signs of forced entry or third party involvement, and there were no suspicious circumstances.

The coroner said Stevie had left a note, the contents of which he had read but did not divulge, and he concluded that his death was suicide.

"It seems his depression got the better of him," he said.

The inquest heard Stevie had been a drummer since he was 17 and had suffered from arthritis in his feet through years of drumming.

Stevie's wife Jude told The Press in October of her devastatation at his death, saying he had been a 'gentle and kind man, who was always saying: "Love you. Are you all right?"

She said Stevie had suffered from bouts of depression all his life.

Stevie's manager for the past decade, Mike Harris, said he had had 'talent as a drummer and a songwriter and he was always driven to aspire for more,' but was sometimes held back by occasional bouts of depression.

He said Stevie had styled his name from David Bowie's song Rock and Roll Suicide, not from any desire for his life to end in the way it had.

He said he had first met Stevie when he was playing bass with Eric Faulkner's Bay City Rollers, and the band was rehearsing in his Hastings studio.

"What I saw then was a very lively character, full of life and creating a buzz around himself," he said.

"Years later we worked together on an Internet radio show and, although not meeting up again due to the distance between us, he began to talk in more depth about his past, and continuing, problems with depression and alcohol - and also how he really wanted to make a name for himself."

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