Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Man decapitated himself in a car

A 53-year-old businessman decapitated himself after his marriage broke up, an inquest has heard.

The headless body of Thomas Anthony Hopkins was found with the keys in the ignition of his car near his company's offices in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.

The inquest at Llanelli was told he had been prescribed a short course of medicine for depression by his GP.

Carmarthenshire coroner William John Owen ruled that Mr Hopkins, of Killay, Swansea, killed himself.

Mr Hopkins's headless body was found in his Ford Mondeo last month at the industrial park where he ran Red Dragon Security Systems.

Some clothes and paperwork were on the back seat of the car but no note was found in the vehicle, his office or his home, the hearing in Llanelli was told.

Marriage break-up

Mr Hopkins's marriage had broken up, leading to a divorce.

The inquest heard he had been prescribed a short course of medicine for depression by his GP, but did not complain of the problem when he went back to the doctor.

Mr Hopkins was arrested in February 2008, but the court was not told why.

In a statement, coroner's officer Tudor Rees said there were no suspicious circumstances and no one else was involved in the death.

The coroner gave the cause of death as decapitation.

He offered his sympathies to relatives, saying: "This gentleman was probably under some stress at the time of this incident and decided to kill himself in this very unfortunate manner.

"My verdict is that the deceased killed himself."

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