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Tuesday, August 31, 1999 Published at 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK


Suicide verdict on Sutch

His life was a tragicomedy, said the coroner

Screaming Lord Sutch killed himself after a long battle with depression, a coroner has said.

A verdict of suicide was recorded on the 58-year-old founder of the Monster Raving Loony party.

Coroner Dr William Dolman said he was "a comedian with tragedy at his heart".

[ image: Lord Sutch campaigned constantly but never won a seat]
Lord Sutch campaigned constantly but never won a seat
The musician and politician hanged himself in June with a multi-coloured skipping rope on the stairs at his late mother's north-west London home.

An entry on a calendar in the house said "depression depression depression is too much".

He was found by his fiancée, Yvonne Elwood, who had gone to the house after she had been unable to call him on the phone.

Dr Dolman said: "The public saw one face of David Sutch, his close friends saw the other side of him.

"I suppose in a sense his life is a tragicomedy. It has come to a sudden end, an end he had obviously planned.

"The entertainment and fun he brought to many people in what one might call the sometimes unsavoury world of politics, I hope, will be remembered longer than the events of June this year.

"I record that David Sutch killed himself, and I'm going to add, while suffering from a depressive illness."

Ms Elwood told the hearing Lord Sutch took anti-depressant tablets for a long time.

She told the hearing: "He suffered from manic depression for many years.

"He had a public face and a private face, which was, most of the time, severely depressed. It would affect him physically, his whole face would drop, and he just couldn't cope, he had to cancel appointments and nothing would make him happy.

"He would either go to bed, or sit being depressed, or walk about. He liked to go and sit in the park, feed the fish, things like that."

Lord Sutch started off as a rock musician in the early 1960s. Although he continued to perform, his real fame came with the Monster Raving Loony Party.

He contested elections for more than 30 years under the slogan "Vote for insanity - you know it makes sense".

Lord Sutch regularly stood in the constituency of the prime minister, campaigning with his top hat, gold suit and loud-hailer. However, he never won a seat.

After his death, a spokesman for Tony Blair acknowledged that elections would never be quite the same without him.

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