"Brilliant" dad, 46, ‘bled to death’ in graveyard after leaving hospital

A "brilliant" dad with a "heart of gold" found dead in a graveyard is thought to have bled to death after struggling with his mental health.

Lee Firth, 46, was discovered by police days after he unexpectedly discharged himself from hospital.

Officers cordoned off Trinity Burial Ground in Hull on Wednesday, August 14 after finding his body.

It is thought he suffered a gastrointestinal haemorrhage, reports Hull Live.

His son Ben has since paid tribute and described him as a “brilliant guy” who had a “heart of a gold”.

However, the 20-year-old also revealed his dad had a “self-destructive” personality which saw Lee develop a crippling addiction to alcohol after years of mental health struggles.

Ben said: “Him and my mum had an on-off relationship because he had a big drinking problem which I think stemmed a lot from his parents passing away.

“He was still in love with my mum and I ended up staying with her and I think he felt alone and isolated.

“I’ve always described him as two people. In my younger years he may not have provided as much financially but he was always there for a shoulder to cry on and a good laugh.

“I had a personal bond with him that I have with no one else. We were just the same and we resonated off each other but he had mental health problems which in the end got the better of him and it all became too tough.”

Lee’s sister Tracy Fores said her brother never recovered mentally after their parents’ death and she thinks he secretly longed to be with them.

The 50-year-old said: “He lost contact with his dad for a lot of years and he wanted to get back in touch and make peace but he died before he got the chance to do that.

“I know that really hurt him and I think a lot of his problems started from there six years ago.

“My mum then ended up having a massive bleed on the brain and she became ill. We watched her suffer and she ended up with dementia before dying five years ago this January and he never came to terms with that.

“He knew he could do it and get better but he didn’t want it. His mental state was ‘I want to be with my parents’ and that is what he wanted – he wanted to be with both of them again.”

Ben says he constantly tried to help his dad battle alcoholism and his mental health woes. However, he believes he ultimately just did not have the willpower despite managing to stay sober for four years.

He said: “I think my dad thought that no one understood him but we did and he just kept trying to break himself away.

“He went to Alcoholics Anonymous in 2014 and his sponsor was brilliant. He basically got into his head and knew exactly how he felt and my dad was actually sober for four years after that.

“But he was always two different people. One day he was a great guy, a great laugh and a credit to everyone but then the next day he would be a self-destructive alcoholic.”

This year, Lee ended up in and out of prison and briefly lived in Scunthorpe before returning to his family in Hull.

Around February he was living in a hostel but then ended up spending a lot of time in hospital with doctors delivering a shattering diagnosis.

Tracy said: “In March he was told he had cirrhosis of the liver because of the alcohol.

"His oesophagus and varicose veins kept bursting internally and they told him if he carried on going on benders he would only have six months to live.

“But Lee would always go sober and then go on a bender – he was trapped in this vicious circle and he thought he was invincible.

“He would push people away. We tried to help him so many times but no matter what you said to him he didn’t listen and he would still go back for that drink.

“Even though he had everyone around him and so many people who loved him he thought he was alone.”

Lee ended up in hospital just days before his death, with relatives last seeing him on Saturday, August 10.

However, a day later, unbeknown to them, Lee discharged himself before being discovered in the cemetery three days later.

Ben believes his dad may have been sleeping rough after leaving hospital and although he is still struggling to come to terms with losing such an influential figure in his life, he hopes his dad is now at peace.

“You think you can prepare yourself for this but you can’t,” Ben said. “We knew the end would come but it still didn’t change how hard it has been.

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