‘One day I’ll die, then I’ll be free’ – old poem was an omen of Hemel Hempstead man’s tragic death

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A man who took his own life while awaiting a crown court trial had contemplated suicide a number of times, an inquest heard on Tuesday.

Raymond Charles Anderson, 42, of Chambersbury Lane, Hemel Hempstead, was found hanged from a tree in Bunkers Park Wood in the town by his partner and her 16-year-old son on February 4.

Known as Ray, the former lorry driver had been charged with brandishing martial arts weaponry at bailiffs, who reportedly assaulted him in April. They had come to remove his property because he had failed to pay a fine he said he knew nothing about.

Coroner Edward Thomas heard how a barrister told the father of five he could be given a three to five year custodial sentence, which caused him to obsess and worry.

His GP Dr Fiona Oswagu said Mr Anderson had taken an overdose of sleeping pills and Schnapps on Christmas Eve. He also attempted suicide a decade earlier after a relationship break-up, writing the words: “One day I’ll die, and then I’ll be free.” He also told his partner he would kill himself in the wood in the days leading up to his trial.

Mr Thomas said: “If he hadn’t had the pressures of the fine and trial, we may not be here today.”