Health & Wellness

Husband-to-be, 28, hanged himself after fiancee threw her engagement ring at him.

Matthew Oliver, 28, was found the morning after he fought with partner Lauren Clarke and she pushed him away during England’s World Cup match against Colombia. His body was found with a bunch of flowers he had bought for Miss Clarke as an apology. An inquest into Mr Oliver’s death was told the couple, who had been dating for 22 months, had started arguing at a family barbecue.

Miss Clarke said the fight had continued, telling the inquest: “He raised his fist towards me, so I called his mum. He tried to grab my phone, and I found it threatening. “He did it because I wasn’t talking to him – I didn’t want to argue. After that, he went outside at about 9.30pm.” The couple then had a three-way conversation with his mum on the phone, with Mr Oliver coming back into the Wythenshawe, Manchester home.

Miss Clarke said: “He thought that it was over because I threw my engagement ring at him, and that was when he raised his fist at me. “He didn’t come into bed with me, but the light was on when I woke up so he must have done that when I was asleep.”

She said she went to sleep about 1.30am, waking up just after 6.30am to notice Mr Oliver’s car was still in the drive despite him due to start work at 7am. The young woman said: “I went downstairs and looked out of the window and then turned around and he was hanging under the bannisters. I ran upstairs and called his mum and then made a 999 phone call.”

The coroner heard the logistics manager had been prescribed anti-depressants but had not been taking them.

Mr Oliver’s mum Dawn Ockerby said he had been given the treatment after his father was diagnosed with cancer and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said: “He had never threatened to harm himself before or never gave me any clue of a mental disorder.”

The retired nurse recounted receiving the news of her son’s death, saying: “I received the phone call on the morning he was found. It was at 6.45 and Lauren’s exact words were ‘quick, quick, come quickly; I think Matt has done something stupid, I think he has killed himself’ she put the phone down.

“I tried to call her back, but I couldn’t get through.”

Tests showed Mr Oliver had 109 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system at the time of his death. The blood/alcohol limit for driving is 80mg.

Recording a conclusion of suicide coroner, Nigel Meadows, said: “At the time of his death, he had a moderate amount of alcohol in his system, but not enough to impair his judgement. It’s my sad duty as a coroner to have presided over well over 1,000 cases of suicide.

“If an individual who kills themselves had a better understanding of the way their actions would affect someone else’s life, they probably would have stopped and thought a bit more about their actions, as it has a lasting effect on family and friends.

“A bereavement is an ongoing process for everyone, time makes it a lot easier to bear, but it never goes away. On a balance of probabilities, I am satisfied that Matthew took his own life.”


The author OMAMODA

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