UK Children's TV Presenter Mark Speight Hanged Himself With His Shoelaces

by Gopalan on  May 21, 2008 at 1:16 PM Celebrity Health News
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UK Children's TV Presenter Mark Speight Hanged Himself With His Shoelaces
UK Children's TV presenter Mark Speight hanged himself with his shoelaces as he was heart-broken after the death of his fiancée.

He was simply "unable to contemplate life" without his actress fiancee, an inquest heard Monday.

Speight - who presented the BBC's popular SMart art programme - killed himself just three months after his fiancee Natasha Collins died during a joint drugs binge.

Tragically, Tuesday's inquest into the 42-year-old's death was held just seven weeks after - and in exactly the same courtroom - as that of his former fiancée, reports Dan Newling in Daily Mail.

The hearing was told how Speight "felt his world had collapsed" when Miss Collins, 31, died in the couple's bath after she took a fatal cocktail of vodka, cocaine and sleeping tablets.

Wracked by guilt and depression, Speight's mental state deteriorated until he went missing on April 7th.

His body was discovered six days later, hanging from a metal bannister on the roof of a building next to Paddington railway station in Central London.

Westminster Coroners' Court heard that Speight had initially tried to hang himself with his belt, but that had snapped.

He then took the shoelaces out of one of his trainers and used them.

The broken belt, plus a scrawled suicide note, were found in his left trouser pocket.

Police found another suicide note addressed to his parents in Speight's private diary.

His separated parents Oliver and Jacqueline - plus Carmen Collins, 57, the mother of his former fiancee - attended the inquest.

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman heard how Speight had been due to meet a psychological counsellor on the day he went missing: April 7th this year.

However, Speight - who appeared "lost and vacant" - had got the wrong day, and as a result the counsellor was not in.

Hours later, at 1.10pm, he spoke to two patrolling police officers.

In their witness statements to the court, the officers said Mr Speight appeared to be "distressed and deep in thought." However, he refused the officers' help.

Using CCTV to piece together his movements, police discovered that shortly after this encounter, Speight travelled to Paddington Station by Tube.

There, he got onto the railway station's roof by walking through the neighbouring Hilton hotel's sixth-floor fire exit.

It wasn't until six days later that station security staff chanced upon Speight's body next to a lift shaft in a very rarely-visited area of the roof.

Pathologist Dr Peter Wilkins told the inquest that it is impossible to tell when, exactly, Mr Speight killed himself.

However, he conceded that it could have been "six, five or four" days before the body was discovered.

Dr Wilkins said Mr Speight had not taken any drugs - legal or illegal - before his death and neither had he been drinking. He said that pathological evidence indicated that the presenter had tried to kill himself at least once before he succeeded.

Describing the death as a "tragedy", coroner Dr Knapman recorded a verdict of suicide.

He said: "It does seem to me that he decided on a course of action to kill himself."

Dr Knapman added: "Clearly he was so devastated by the loss of Natasha Collins that he could not contemplate life without her."

Source: Medindia

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