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Businessman from Lower Halstow strangled himself by accident in Frankfurt hotel room

By William Janes

A businessman found in a hotel room with a ligature around his neck killed himself by accident, an inquest has concluded.

Luke Merry, 34, from Lower Halstow was found unresponsive on the floor of a hotel room while on a business trip in Frankfurt, Germany.

A police inspection of the room found black ropes tied to the bed-frame, an iPad switched on, and a blade thought to be for cutting the ligature.

Luke Merry was found dead in a Frankfurt hotel room
Luke Merry was found dead in a Frankfurt hotel room

A report, translated from German, confirmed no other people were involved.

Staff forced their way through the door, which had been blocked with a chair, at around 12.30pm on Thursday, April 4 after the IT consultant failed to check-out after his one-night booking.

What the father-of-one was doing in the room in the moments that led up to his death remains unclear.

“He lived life to the full and regarded his wife and son as being at the centre of everything he believed in.”

Ms Harding gave the family a choice between conclusions of "accident" and "misadventure" which she explained were synonymous.

A statement from Mr Merry's wife Leanna read by the coroner described him as a devoted father and husband with plans for the future.

"They were extremely happy, they shared in each other’s hopes and dreams, had an extremely close family," she said.

“He lived life to the full and regarded his wife and son as being at the centre of everything he believed in.”

Luke Merry's inquest was held at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone
Luke Merry's inquest was held at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone

Just hours before his death, Mr Merry had spoken to his son and wife via a video call.

Concluding, Ms Harding said: "He did not intend to take his own life in performing the act which ultimately resulted in his death.

"He had no mental health issues, he had a young family, and plans for the future. He had no financial concerns and had in the room the means to release himself."

It was decided he died as a result of an accidental asphyxiation.

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

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