A tragic lottery winner who scooped nearly £1million hanged himself the morning after he told his secret gay lover ”everything is pointless”, an inquest heard today.
Bachelor Richard Lang, 31, used an electrical power cable from a vacuum cleaner as a makeshift noose to hang himself at his £400,000 home.
Boyfriend Joshua Jones, who had just moved in with him, found Richard’s body suspended from the stair banisters on May 18 last year.
The inquest heard how Richard spiralled into depression six years after he won more than £860,000 on the lottery.
The canal maintenance worker – who refused to live a lavish lifestyle – was gay but never told his family or friends.
After he met Joshua on an internet social networking site he kept their trysts hidden and even moved him in without his family realising.
But months later Richard confided in Joshua, telling him ”everything is pointless” hours before he was found dead.
The inquest at Leicester Town Hall heard Richard was initially thrilled after he matched six numbers to win a £867,454 share of the jackpot in 2005.
But he was frugal with his winnings, which he spent on modest holidays and a Ford Focus car before buying his home in Broughton Astley, Leics., for £400,000.
He kept his job at British Waterways and pals teased him about being a miser after putting the rest of the cash in the bank.
Richard later met Joshua on a social networking site and they soon became lovers.
The inquest heard the couple shared secret trysts at Richard’s home before Joshua moved in full-time after leaving his home in Wrexham.
Their relationship was hidden from family, friends and work colleagues who did not know Richard’s sexuality.
Joshua did not attend the inquest but in a statement which was read out, he said: ”Richard returned home from work as usual and went into the dining room and started some paperwork.
”I thought that was unusual as he could do this at any time and it was not what he usually did in the evening.
”We went to bed at around 11pm. We talked in bed about cartoons that Richard used to watch as a child. At the time we were laughing and joking.
”We slept together and Richard would say that sex was pointless and that everything was pointless and that nothing got him excited or interested.
”In the morning I heard some noises on the stairs and I assumed it was Richard getting ready for work.
”I went downstairs to see where Richard was and I realised that Richard was hanging from the banister using the Hoover cord.”
Richard’s devastated mum Yvonne Greenwood, 65, told the inquest that she had no idea her son had a live-in lover.
She said: ”He never mentioned to me any problems or depression. None whatsoever.
”I didn’t know about this man Joshua Jones who was living with him before the tragedy. Neither his friends or his work colleagues or anybody else did either.
”Richard was well liked, quietish, not outgoing. He loved helping people. He liked texting jokes to people.
”He was fond of going out with his friends and there were plenty of these. He was very careful with his money to the point of possible meanness.”
Recording an open verdict, Deputy Coroner Martin Gotheridge today said he was not satisfied Richard intended to kill himself.
Mr Gotheridge said: ”The events were somewhat unusual in that there was only 20 minutes between Richard getting of bed and the times he met his friend or colleague at 8am to collect him from the house.
”There were some concerns that short time meant that it could have been a cry for help and that Richard had intended for his friend from work to come into the house and find him when he didn’t come out.”
Mr Gotheridge added that the absence of a suicide note also suggested Richard was intending to be rescued by his work colleague.
He said: ”It seems to me that on the basis of the evidence that we have heard there’s an initial indication that Richard committed suicide by hanging.
”However I’m very conscious that under the law I’m not entitled to make a finding of suicide unless I can be satisfied on the evidence beyond reasonable doubt.
”I don’t believe on the evidence that I have that I can be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt.”
Verdict: Open verdict.
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