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Tragedy of Gravesend man Karol Michalak 'obsessed' with married woman who killed himself on wasteland

A young man killed himself by breathing in gas after after becoming "obsessed" with a married woman, an inquest heard.

Karol Michalak, 20, was reported missing from Gravesend by his uncle Maciej Michalak on January 20.

An intense police search was mounted after it was revealed he had been contemplating suicide.

Karol Michalak had become “infatuated” and “obsessed” with a married woman before he was found dead

Karol Michalak had become “infatuated” and “obsessed” with a married woman before he was found dead

The inquest at Gravesend's Old Town Hall yesterday heard Karol had been living happily with his uncle in Old Road West, Gravesend, since arriving in the country more than three years ago.

He had enrolled on an IT course at North West Kent College and had been earning money working in a warehouse.

However, his uncle said he noticed a change in his nephew after he had moved into the spare room of friend Justyna Baginska and her husband.

The inquest heard Karol had become "infatuated" and "obsessed" with the woman and when her husband found texts from Karol on his wife's phone, Karol moved back to his uncle's house.

In a statement, his uncle said: "I could tell he had a close relationship with her and I think it grew into more than just friends but to her, they were nothing more than friendship.

"He was obsessed with her and would follow her."

Police and search and rescue teams found Karol Michalak's body on waste land

Police and search and rescue teams found Karol Michalak's body on waste land

Karol said that after his death, a diary he had been keeping should be read by Justyna.

Partially completed medical forms discovered by police showed his dark thoughts, saying he thought he would never be happy again.

A check of his computer records revealed searches researching suicide using gas.

In a statement, DS David West said Karol had attempted to end his life in a car crash on the motorway but had not "had the nerve" to go through with it.

During the hunt, police joined forces with Kent Search and Rescue and discovered the empty box that had contained the gas in an alleyway in Beaumont Drive.

The search team had been working their way through the town and had got as far as Stuart Road on February 2 when one of the searchers spotted a hole in the fence.

Karol's phone was found along with his body revealing he had texted Justyna asking if he had said something wrong followed by a phone call to her.

Karol Michalak captured on CCTV in Argos

Karol Michalak captured on CCTV after he was reported missing

DS West said: "He had a fixation with a married woman who did not feel the same way about him.

"All the indications are that he had mental health problems. It appears he was not taking any medication but was due to have an appointment after he had gone missing."

The medical cause of death given was asphyxiation.

Assistant coroner Alan Blunsdon said: "We know that in late 2013 he had attempted to harm himself in a road traffic accident.

"The deceased had tried to harm himself and a partly completed medical questionnaire shows the deceased was having suicidal thoughts.

"The evidence here is compelling and tragically he achieved it. The conclusion and the only one available to me is that of suicide."

For confidential support, phone the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or visit www.samaritans.org.

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