Man whose fiancée threw engagement ring at him hanged himself hours later


A father-of-one who assumed his fiancee had broken up with him when she threw her engagement ring at him during a tiff later hanged himself.

Matthew Oliver, 28, was found dead at the home he shared with Lauren Clarke after she pushed him away and went to bed following a row during England’s World Cup match against Columbia in July last year.

Miss Clarke, who is in her 20s, made the discovery the following morning when she woke up and noticed her husband-to-be’s car was still parked on the drive when he was due in work.

He had left a bunch of flowers next to him as an apology to Miss Clarke.

An inquest heard how the 28-year-old, from Wythenshawe Manchester, had been dating Miss Clarke for 22 months.

He had been prescribed anti-depressants but did not take the tablets and was known to exaggerate minor health complaints.

Miss Clarke told the Manchester hearing: “I met him in September 2016 and, at that time, I had a daughter, but separately from Matt. I didn’t know he had been prescribed antidepressants before, but I did know that he would exaggerate minor health issues.

“I lived with Matt and on July 3, we had a family BBQ at our home and we had a disagreement, so I went to my friends.

“When I came back, we continued arguing and 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 only contact after that was when I rang his Mum and we were put in a three-way conversation. He came back in the house at about 10pm.

“I basically said ‘let’s leave it and talk tomorrow’ and we both had a drink. I then went upstairs and brushed my teeth and then came back downstairs and he was having a cigarette.

“I then went up to bed at about 10:15, but I went to sleep at about 1:30am. We were texting each other, I took myself out of that situation.

“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.

“I woke up at about 6:35am and I looked out of the window and his car was there. He should have started work at 7.

“I went downstairs and looked out of the window and then turned around and he was hanging. I ran upstairs and called his mum and then made a 999 phone call.

“The paramedics arrived and they told me that he was dead. I have never seen him do something like this before.

Tests showed Mr Oliver had 109 milligrams of alcohol per 100 mililitres 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.”

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