RIP Simon "Vampire Chaz" Martin.
A man found hanged in a secluded wooded area did not commit suicide, a coroner has ruled.
Simon Martin, 29, was found hanging in the early hours of Friday, August 21 – hours after he was reported missing by anxious family and friends.
Coroner Edward Thomas, however, ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove the popular call centre manager had intended to end his life.
Hatfield Coroner’s Court heard yesterday how the father-of-one was found, just metres from his Bucknalls Close home, sitting under a tree.
This unusual position, Mr Thomas ruled, meant he may have died accidently when a cry for help went tragically wrong.
Mr Martin, the court learned, had been struggling to cope with financial problems and the breakdown of his relationship.
It was also revealed that, just three days before Mr Martin’s body was discovered, he was assessed by a mental health nurse at Watford General Hospital when he was found by police officers “contemplating suicide” in another wooded area.
GP Dr Kay Mackell told how she had treated Mr Martin the following day, Wednesday, and advised a programme of counselling. Fighting back tears, she remembered how he had left her surgery in a “pleasant and positive” mood, vowing to tackle his problems head-on.
Later that night, however, Mr Martin left the flat he shared with his girlfriend after learning there was no chance of a long-term reunion.
The court heard how, in the early hours of Thursday morning, he left, promising to return in 15 minutes. He was reported missing later that day and his body discovered in the early hours of the following day.
Mr Thomas, after hearing two hours of evidence, said there was insufficient evidence to record a verdict of suicide. It was possible, he said, that Mr Martin had intended only to attract the attention of those he loved.
He added: “Did he know that that action would definitely cause his death? I think he would have known that this was a dangerous act. Whether he knew it would definitely cause his death – I don’t know.
“It doesn’t take very much [pressure around the neck] to cause unconsciousness and asphyxiation.”
Parents Helen and Mark said after the hearing: “He was the best son that anyone could have wished for. He was kind, caring and would do anything for anybody. He was a fantastic guitarist, a great skateboarder and one hell of a good guy. We all miss him terribly and always will.”
Mr Thomas recorded a verdict of self harm.
Also - Goodbye Scott MacNamara.
I miss the old days, me sitting on the sofa, brushing your hair.
Someone once told me by the time I was 30 a third of my friends would be dead by their own hand. I laughed it off but it does seem that way.