Croxley Green 'family man' hid financial problems before death

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Picture from stock

First published in News
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Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A Croxley Green "family man" who took his own life due to financial pressures left letters for his loved ones on the passenger seat of the vehicle in which his body was found.

The day before Brian Lane’s body was discovered in Watford General's Cardiff Road car park on September 26, his family were visited at their Canterbury Way home by officials enforcing a possession order.

The 53-year-old clinical engineer at the Vicarage Road hospital had been "shielding" his severe financial circumstances from his family, Hertfordshire Coroners Court heard today.

Mr Lane’s body was found by a security guard at the hospital at about 8.30am after he noticed that the car was parked at "an unusual angle".

The court heard how further inquiries indicated that the car had been there since the previous night, as a nurse saw the vehicle positioned in a similarly strange angle at about 9.45pm.

Postmortem results revealed that Mr Lane, whose body was discovered in the driver’s seat of the car, had died of asphyxiation.

In the notes found on the front passenger seat, Mr Lane spoke of "his regret of what he was going to do" but said that he could not "cope anymore", assistant coroner, Graham Danbury, explained.

The inquest heard how Mr Lane’s wife, Denise, was "shocked" to learn of the "financial mess" the family was in, and that they were told "to leave the house almost straight away" during the visit on September 25.

Addressing Mr Lane’s family and friends who appeared at the inquest today, Mr Danbury said that the husband and father was a "family man" who others sought comfort in.

The inquest was told how Mr Lane had earned the nickname of "Mr Fix-it", with Mr Danbury adding: "If anyone had a problem, he was the one to turn to."

Mr Lane, who had been made redundant from a naval company before he secured a job as a clinical engineer, had been described as "much respected" by his hospital colleagues.

Considerable strain on his finances led to Mr Lane taking his own life, the inquest was told.

Mr Danbury said: "The evidence points unmistakably towards the conclusion that he had come to the end of the road because of what was happening to the house and, as you said, he couldn’t cope anymore so he did, I am sure, what he felt was the best thing he could do for the family realising what a financial mess he had got himself into."

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