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Inquest: John Chadwick killed himself after being told he couldn't take pets into council accommodation

By David Gazet

A homeless man who killed himself at his emergency council accommodation was devastated to have been separated from his pets, an inquest heard.

John Chadwick, considered his beloved cat and two dogs family and was distraught when told he could not take them with him to a new flat in Square Hill, in Maidstone.

The much-loved 52-year-old sent a text message to friends saying he no longer wished to be alive before taking a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol at a bed and breakfast on March 16 – the anniversary of his mother’s death.

John Chadwick
John Chadwick

An inquiry held at Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone on Thursday heard Mr Chadwick had spent around 10 years sleeping rough in Manchester where he developed alcoholism and also experienced depression and anxiety.

He later stayed in several areas of Kent, including the Kenward Trust, Yalding, which helps those addicted to drink or drugs, before settling at Boxley Road in Maidstone.

In April he disappeared suddenly before being found by police in London.

Both Mr Chadwick’s parents are dead but he has a two brothers living in Australia, one of whom provided an allowance from their father’s inheritance, which was stopped suddenly.

Just 10 days before he died, Mr Chadwick was evicted from his home of four years and put into a bed and breakfast in Maidstone’s Chamberlain Avenue after the landlord decided to sell the property.

Assistant coroner Ian Wade concluded the death was a suicide and the loss of his animals was a key factor the decision.

Dee Bonnet, a close friend, said people needed to start talking about mental health.

She said: “He will be missed by everybody and it just hasn’t sunk in, to be honest. Losing John has been one of the worst things I have ever been through.

"John loved everyone here in Kent and never forgot anyone in Manchester, he just needed his babies to get up to and go home to at the end of the day.

"There is no north/south divide, since his disappearance last year leading up to current events, it's brought everyone together."

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