UK: Matson man killed himself after cruel bullies called him names whenever he left home

7/9/2015- A vulnerable and innocent man killed himself after cruel bullies made his life a misery by calling him names whenever he left his home, an inquest has heard. Tragic Michael Bevan, 46, had learning difficulties but became reclusive after vile tormentors shouted 'paedo' and other names when he went outside.  His mother said he was driven to despair by the daily taunts and woken by people banging on his door at night. But his family say Michael - who had never been in trouble with the police - was unable or too scared to speak out and never received the support or help he needed.

He was found hanged inside his home in March after his family raised concerns and police broke in. He had put two ligatures around his neck. An inquest heard that Michael, who lived alone and had no job, had also split with a troubled girlfriend. After the inquest Michael's mother, Roseanna, added: "Our son experienced daily taunts. "He was called horrible names and he would wake up in the night to people banging on his door. He was unable or too scared to speak out.  "We have lost our son. He was driven to the depths of despair by the constant mental torture he suffered. Their actions have had devastating consequences. "He was unable or too scared to speak out. These cowards are people who hide behind closed doors and computers.

"I hope the people calling him names are ashamed of themselves - they pushed my son to his death. "I just hope they will be shamed into coming forward and admit what they have done. ''He was a quiet lad who wouldn't hurt a fly - bullies need to be punished if similar suicides are to be prevented. "He would give his last penny to someone who needed it. He was such a decent man. "We urge all those being bullied to speak out, join together and make a stand to stamp out the utterly vile, cruel and unacceptable part of society today."

In a statement, his mother Roseanna revealed to the inquest the family's heartbreak at his decision to end his life without coming to them for help first. She said: "I am devastated by Michael's death and I have thought long and hard about why he might have done this as he did not leave a note. "I believe he was bullied by his nearby neighbours who tormented him because he kept himself to himself. "Michael made no complaints to us or the police and therefore we were unable to help him. "It was playing on Michael's mind and I can only think that it became too much for him."

Detective Inspector Hannah Mackie told Gloucester Coroner's Court that the family had raised concerns that Michael was being bullied. But investigating officers had been unable to discover any more about the accusations as witnesses were unwilling to name potential bullies. Michael was found dead at his home in Matson, Gloucester on March 7 and a post-mortem found the cause of death was hanging. Gloucester senior coroner Katy Skerrett concluded that Michael had intentionally killed himself. She said: "There was no suicide note left but we know he had been seeing a girl called Angela who was suffering mental health problems and had ended the relationship. "Family have also raised concerns Michael was being bullied. He made sure his house was very secure before taking his life, he did not intend on being disturbed, that's a very pertinent point."

His brother, David Bevan, added: "He couldn't leave the house without being called a 'paedo' which wasn't true at all. "No one was ever brave enough to say anything to me when I went around there. I hope they are ashamed of what they have done." Joy Hibbins, founder and director of Suicide Crisis, said charity staff are "extremely sad and sorry to hear of the distressing circumstances" surrounding Michael's death. She said everybody needs to be aware of the risk of suicide, especially if a person is being targeted because they have a disability. "We need to create zero tolerance of disability hate incidents and hate crime. It has its roots in stigma and discrimination, and in the targeting of vulnerable individuals. "We have heard of other cases where people have been targeted because they have a disability, whether it is a learning disability, mental health diagnosis, or a physical disability."
The Gloucester Citizen

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