HEARTBROKEN family and friends have spoke of their "shock" at the death of a much-loved and well-respected shipyard caulker.

Paul James Harris was 48 when he was found dead at his home on Turnstone Crescent, Askam on November 27 last year.

Speaking at the inquest into his death at Barrow Town Hall his wife Elaine Harris paid tribute to her popular husband.

She said: "We met at a nightclub in Dalton in the 1980s and we married in 1993. It is difficult because there was a lot of years there and we had a good life.

"He started at BAE when he was 16 and he was still there when he died. He had a really good reputation at the yard for being a hard worker and he was always striving to be better, but he didn't need to be.

"He had worked nights for most of the time we were married and that was fine. It worked for us and we always had the weekends together."

Mr Harris' step-father Ken Robinson said there was no one more generous than him.

He said: "Paul was a shadow to me. Anything I would do he wanted to do too. I had to sneak out of the house or he would come with me to work.

"They called him Schumacher at the yard and he was always very hands on.

"He did have his down moments but it was an absolute shock when I heard. I never expected him to do this and I told him not to put himself in any danger.

"I wonder if things would have been different if I had gone to see him that day, and that is my big regret."

The inquest heard how Mrs Harris moved out of their home in the months before his death.

She said: "The yard changed to the four-on, four-off shifts and that was when things started to change and we lost our rhythm.

"I would go out with our friends and he hated missing out. I tried to talk to him about coming off the shifts but he was a very proud man and he needed to feel he was contributing to our earnings.

"I tried to get him to talk to someone and I even suggested marriage counselling but he just did not think he had any problems.

"I knew him for 29 years and he never mentioned taking his own life and there was not even one per cent of me that thought he would do it."

At an inquest at Barrow Town Hall on Wednesday (25), assistant coroner Paul O'Donnell recorded a verdict of suicide.