Published: 00:01, 01 July 2016
Businessman Jon Brown killed himself with a shotgun after his marriage fell into difficulties, an inquest heard.
The dad-of-five, who ran Coin Castle Amusements in the Promenade, Leysdown, committed suicide on the morning of March 14 after dropping his youngest boy at school.
Police were called to a flat upstairs at the arcade and had to break in after worried staff discovered a note pinned to the door which read: “Please don’t enter. Call police please.” The door had been locked from the inside.
The inquest at Maidstone heard the 50-year-old had been had been looking “gaunt and haggard” in the two weeks before his death. Family friend John Holness, who was also the arcade’s plumber, said Mr Brown looked “lifeless, tired and exhausted” with “no go in him” when he saw him on the Saturday before his death.
Recording a suicide verdict, assistant Mid-Kent coroner Ian Wade said: “This was a dreadful and tragic death. Mr Brown was a man of decency, honour, good will and charm. But things were definitely going badly wrong in his life.
“His marriage was in crisis and he was not looking well – probably a reaction to the breakdown of his marriage.”
He added: “There was huge turmoil in his life. Mr Brown had been so overwhelmed by this and other matters which had been troubling him that he was making searches on his mobile phone looking at sites relating to suicide such as Calm, for male suicides, and the Samaritans.”
Mr Wade said Mr Brown had left the marital home and was living above the arcade, although his 25-year-old wife Nasmin denied that.
Mr Brown’s sisters Sarah Challinor and Simone “Simmy” Fuller said they believed the state of their brother’s mind had been altered three days before when a heavy box fell on his head at work, knocking him out.
Although a CT scan at Medway Maritime Hospital revealed no permanent damage it also discovered a small cyst on his brain.
Mrs Fuller said: “There is evidence that brains carry on swelling after trauma. We think that might have affected Jon.
“He was such a kind man. None of us can understand why he did this. There was no way he would normally have left his children. It’s too much of a coincidence.”
Donations in Mr Brown’s memory were given to Demelza Hospice Care for Children.
If you are experiencing any emotional difficulties visit The Samaritans at www.samaritans.org or call free any time on 116123.
For support for brain injuries visit the Headway charity www.headway.org.uk or call 0808 800 2244.