A BRIGHT young man who had been preparing to take up a place at Oxford University killed himself before his studies started, an inquest has heard.

Christopher John Ambler, who had a history of depression and had previously self-harmed, was found hanging in his bedroom in York on February 15.

The 24-year-old had split up with his girlfriend about six months before his death, although the inquest heard they were still in contact, and had lost his father unexpectedly shortly before Christmas 2007.

He was also feeling “unsure” about what to expect from university life, the inquest at Sentinel House, in York, heard.

His housemate, Thomas Johnson, a gallery assistant, had known Mr Ambler since March 2007 and found him “a pleasant person”.

They shared a four-bedroom house with two others in Millfield Lane.

In a statement, he said Mar Ambler had become “more withdrawn” after splitting up with his girlfriend and spent more time in his bedroom.

“I always got the sense he was troubled,” he said.

Then, shortly before Christmas in 2007 Mr Ambler’s father died unexpectedly, he said. He was upset “but seemed to cope remarkably well”, said Mr Johnson.

He felt Mr Ambler’s life was beginning to “pick up” because he had a place at university and had plans to visit friends.

However, Mr Ambler had seemed unsure about what to expect from university during their last conversation.

Mr Johnson found him hanging on February 15, several days after he was last seen alive on Febraury 9.

The inquest heard that paramedics attended and confirmed his death. No suicide note was found.

Christopher’s half brother, Jonathan Stabler, said in a statement that Mr Ambler, who worked as an administration officer, had received a place at Oxford University.

He said he had had depression on and off since his teens and had received counselling. He also had a history of self harming, but Mr Stabler said: “As far as we are aware, he had not done so recently.”

The inquest heard that Mr Ambler had previously taken an overdose on more than one occasion, and had been under the care of the psychiatric services at Bootham Park Hospital for a period.

Reading from statements, deputy coroner Jonathan Leach said: “He had not been seen by classmates for several days but that was not unusual.”

A report by Dr Christine Bates, consultant pathologist at York Hospital, confirmed that Mr Ambler had been dead for several days before being found, and confirmed the cause of death was hanging.

Recording his verdict, Mr Leach said Christopher had taken his own life.