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Last Updated: Friday, 1 October, 2004, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Growing debt drove man to suicide
Dereck Rawson
Dereck Rawson had debts of almost 100,000 on 16 credit cards
A forklift truck driver who owed 100,000 took his own life because he could no longer face the debts.

The death of Dereck Rawson, 51, has prompted calls for tighter government controls on credit card companies.

The coroner in Huntingdon recorded a verdict of suicide on Mr Rawson who hanged himself at his home in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire.

He wrote a letter to his sister saying he was going to commit suicide and asking for her forgiveness.

I can't pay the bills and the different companies won't leave me alone
Dereck Rawson
The letter to Sheila Wade read: "Please forgive me for what I am about to do and that is to commit suicide.

"I've run up large debts with credit card companies and loans for the last 15 years.

"Now I can't pay the bills and the different companies won't leave me alone. Can you please get the police to come and find me in the bungalow."

The inquest heard his problems began 15 years ago when the sale of his house following the breakdown of his marriage left him with 10,000 in negative equity.

He was able to get more and more credit cards to pay off his existing debt, mostly built up through penalty charges and interest, although his weekly take home pay was just 340.

In July last year father-of-two Stephen Lewis, 37, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, killed himself after running up 70,000 in debts on 19 credit cards.

Ian Richards, a counsellor with the UK Insolvency Helpline, wants credit cards government-regulated to stop people being driven to desperation.

"With credit cards there is no limit to what you can borrow. All they care about it whether the customer is making his minimum repayments."

'I became suicidal over debt'
03 Jun 04  |  Northern Ireland



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