Bus driver killed himself over fears he would never see his children again after splitting from his wife just days before Christmas
Troy Simpson-Joseph was found hanging in Peckham park on Boxing Day
Father-of-six apparently feared never seeing his children again after split
28-year-old had split with wife Rachel just days before he was found dead
Coroner ruled suicide and said Troy had been 'going through personal hell'
By EMMA GLANFIELD FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 00:23 +11:00, 16 October 2015 | UPDATED: 01:35 +11:00, 16 October 2015
Father-of-six Troy Simpson-Joseph, 28, was found hanging in Burgess Park, Peckham, south east London, on Boxing Day last year after learning his estranged wife Rachel had a new partner.
He had been arrested and bailed just days before his death, on December 23, during a row with his ex-wife as he moved his belongings out of the family home in Lewisham.
His distraught mother, Bernadette Joseph, told the inquest at Southwark Coroners Court that he feared he would never see his children again.
Ms Joseph said: ‘She accused him of hitting her, I was there the whole time, he didn’t hit her, he had his hands full.
‘She [Rachel Simpson-Joseph] told me she’d disappear with the children and he’d never see them again - he was released on Christmas Eve, he’d been interviewed in a police cell without a lawyer.’
She said on Christmas Day her son had been desperately ringing his former partner’s relatives to try and locate his children so he could wish them a merry Christmas.
Ms Joseph said that although he was panicking about losing his children, she had told him to stay calm and speak to a lawyer.
She described mending her son’s winter coat and making him a cup of tea on Christmas morning before he left to meet a friend in town.
She added that she started to worry when he didn’t return home and she fell asleep in a chair by the front door as she waited for him.
He was eventually found in Burgess Park by members of the public early in the morning on Boxing Day.
A forensic examination of his body and a post-mortem examination found no evidence of a struggle such as rips and stains to his clothing or any other injuries.
There were no drugs in his system and only a trace of alcohol.
Returning a verdict of suicide, Coroner Dr Christopher Williams said Mr Simpson-Joseph had been suffering a 'personal hell' at the time of his death.
He said: ‘He had experienced numerous stresses and tragedies that are very hard to bear on that particular day - there was the breakdown in his relationship so that would have been very hard in itself.
Mr Simpson-Joseph, a bus driver, had been arrested and bailed on December 23 during a row with his ex-wife as he moved out of the family home. He was found dead at Burgess Park in Peckham (pictured) on Boxing Day
‘I infer that he was so concerned that he would never see his children again that he did it at a time when he was completely unable to think rationally because he was so overwhelmed by his problems.
‘I find that when I take together all the things that were going wrong, and it was Christmas, that’s another factor, he was such a dedicated father, it’s as if he was so dedicated to his family life that it was unbearable for him.’
Turning to Ms Joseph, the coroner said: ‘It’s quite clear he never would have wanted to hurt any of you, he cared deeply for you, his children, and his wife.
It’s quite clear he never would have wanted to hurt any of you, he cared deeply for you, his children, and his wife. He was going through a personal hell at that time
Coroner Dr Christopher Williams
‘He was going through a personal hell at that time, that’s the inference I draw from all of this, so I reluctantly come to the conclusion that he committed suicide.’
Dr Williams extended his deepest condolences to Mr Simpson-Joseph’s family and acknowledged his conclusion was probably ‘no comfort’ to his mother.
Following his death, Mr Simpson-Joseph’s brother set up a Facebook page called ‘Rest in Peace Troy Simpson-Joseph’ so that his friends could leave tributes.
His brother wrote: ‘The toxicology report clearly showed no drugs in his system and a very small quantity of alcohol was present in his blood.
‘He died in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. You will be glad to know that he did not suffer.'
One mourner, Mr Simpson-Joseph’s former colleague Christine Ogunleye, wrote: ‘A message for Troy’s children, Daddy is still with U. Hold on to all them cherished memories (sic).
‘I used to work with your father and all he could do was talk good things about you all. Daddy loves you and always will love you.’