Overwhelmed by the fear that he would never see his children again after separating from his wife just days before Christmas, a black bus driver killed himself on Boxing Day, an inquest heard.
28-year-old father-of-six Troy Simpson-Joseph was discovered hanging in Burgess Park, Peckham in South East London on Boxing Day last year. He had found out that his estranged wife had a new partner and he was terrified he would never see his children again, his distraught mother, Bernadette Joseph, said at Southwark Coroners Court.
He had been arrested and bailed just days before his death over a row with his ex-wife whilst moving his belongings out of the family home in Lewisham.
“She accused him of hitting her, I was there the whole time, he didn’t hit her, he had his hands full”, Ms Joseph said. “She [Rachel Simpson-Joseph] told me she’d disappear with the children and he’d never see them again”, she added.
Mr Simpson-Joseph had been desperately trying to contact his ex-wife’s relatives on Christmas Day to locate his children to wish them a merry Christmas, she told the inquest.
She added that although he was panicking about losing his children, she advised him to stay calm and speak to a lawyer. She started to worry after he didn’t return home.
He was found in the park by passers-by on Boxing Day. A forensic examination of his body and post-mortem found no evidence of a struggle or injuries.
Returning a verdict of suicide, coroner Dr Christopher Williams said that “It’s quite clear he never 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”.
“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. It was Christmas, that’s another factor, he was such a dedicated father”, Dr Williams added before extending his deepest condolences to Mr Simpson-Joseph’s family
Following his death, Mr Simpson-Joseph’s brother opened a Facebook page [Rest in Peace Troy Simpson-Joseph] so that his friends could leave tributes.