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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 13:40 GMT
Man driven to suicide 'by kids'
Martin James
The police say they will look into the case
An inquest into the death of a Gloucestershire man has ruled that years of abuse at the hands of local youths led to his suicide.

Martin James, 64, from Gloucester, and registered as disabled, committed suicide in August 2003.

He left a note which said: "I'm sorry - the kids have beaten me."

His wife, Angela, 37, told the inquest that police had ignored her husband's pleas for help.

Earlier in the year, Mr Martin had shot at a gang of youths outside his house with an air rifle, and been cautioned as a result.

Mrs James told the inquest that her husband had suffered years of abuse and taunts from local youths, who were seeking to provoke a reaction from him.

It is a tragic case. A gentleman took his own life because he was worn down to a tether
Chief Inspector David Peake
She told the BBC: "They knew they could wind him up. In his last week, he was constantly tired, getting aggravated and worked up. It was not good."

Chief Inspector David Peake from Gloucestershire Police said the force would be looking at the events leading up to Mr James' death.

"Clearly we need to look into this and review what went wrong, if anything did go wrong.

"We are taking this seriously and I shall be talking to the superintendent in Gloucester to find out what more we could have done, if we could have done more,.

"It is a tragic case. A gentleman took his own life because he was worn down to a tether."





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