A coroner has warned the economic crisis gripping Britain has led to an “increasing trend” of desperate people HANGING themselves.
Black Country coroner Robin Balmain made his comments after he presided over FIVE suicides in “the darkest day” of his 40 year career.
Mr Balmain ruled the victims – aged between 33 and 54 – were indicative of a worrying increase in people taking their own lives.
Sitting at Walsall Manor Hospital, in Walsall, West Mids., Mr Balmain said: “What’s particularly concerning is that this is an increasing trend.
“I’ve got a number of inquests today and five of them will involve death by hanging, which is far more than I’ve ever experienced before.
“I’ve been associated with the coroners’ service for 40 years and I’ve never dealt with one day of five deaths by hanging.
“Whether it’s something to do with the country’s financial situation, whether it’s an increasing breakdown of relationships, I don’t know what the explanation is.”
He added that there had been a definite increase in suicides over the last “six to nine months”.
One of the five cases Mr Balmain heard was that of tragic Derek Baker, 44, from Willenhall, West Mids., who killed himself on December 17.
Mr Baker, who had lost his job two years previously, left a video message for his estranged wife Leanne and his son and daughter in which he apologised for “wrecking Christmas”.
Another victim, Kishor Kumar Patel, 54, of from Bilston, West Mids., was found hanged from a tree on land close to the town’s fire station on October 23, 2012.
He was said to have been struggling fiancially since losing his job and separating from his wife.
Company director Stuart John Moroney, 48, from Sutton Coldfield, West Mids., was discovered hanging at his business premises, LAM Finance Ltd on Queen’s Trading Estate, West Bromwich, West Mids., on December 3 last year.
His widow Jacqueline said she believed the main cause of the death of her husband, who she described as a “complete family man”, was a call he received from his accountant saying he was the subject of a major tax investigation.
She said: “He wasn’t the same person any more, he completely distanced himself.”
Unemployed pharmacist Hardip Singh Sandhu, 34, from Wolverhampton, was found by his father hanging in the basement of their home on June 19, 2012.
His family said he had become “private and withdrawn” after struggling to find a new job after being made redundant six years ago.
Self-employed builder John Graham Matthews, 33, of Aldridge, Walsall, was found dead at home on August 19 last year.
The inquest heard he had become hooked on cocaine following the break-down of his marriage which was linked to the couple’s money worries.