A coroner has demanded an explanation from police who ‘despicably’ destroyed the suicide note of a desperate man.
Taxi driver Christopher Sherwood, 64, left the scribbled message on his sofa before hanging himself.
The divorced dad-of-two wrote: “Oh God, no-one has ever known how unhappy I am.”
But a police officer destroyed the original note without permission from a senior officer after taking a photocopy.
Patricia Harding, the Coroner for Mid Kent and Medway, said: “This is a totally despicable situation.
“There will have to be an investigation. The family will need an explanation and I would like to be able to give them one.
“Effectively the officer has – maybe inadvertently, I know not – disposed of an exhibit which I am unable to see, which the family are unable to see, which the family are unable to verify was written by him and which may have an effect on the inquest.”
Ms Harding, sitting in Maidstone, heard that Mr. Sherwood, of Strood, Kent, battled depression for decades before taking his own life last November.
He leaves sons Adam, 45, and Simon, 44, who have received an apology from Kent police.
Detective Sergeant Mel Moore told the inquest: “Usually in this situation the officers know not to dispose of anything without checking with the Detective Sergeant or the Detective Constable.”