Cy­cle shop debts led to fa­ther’s sui­cide

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

THE owner of a chain of cy­cle shops killed him­self be­cause his busi­ness faced crip­pling debts, an inquest heard.

Philip Briscall-Har­vey, 41, was found in his car with a pipe lead­ing from the ex­haust in through the win­dow on Jan­uary 28.

The fa­ther-of-four ran the Cy­cle Mart shops in Ash­ford, Can­ter­bury, Herne Bay and Maid­stone.

His wife Stephanie, 43, found him in his car in a barn at their home in Homesteads Lane, East Stud­dal, near Dover.

Pathol­o­gist Matthias Koslowski said the clin­i­cal cause of death was car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing.

Mr Briscall-Har­vey had left a se­ries of notes for fam­ily mem­bers at least one of which said he was ashamed that the busi­ness, started by his fa­ther John 43 years ago, had fallen on hard times.

Act­ing Det Insp Stu­art Walker, who at­tended the scene, said in a state­ment that Cy­cle Mart was in con­sid­er­able debt and had in­curred se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

All four of the Cy­cle Mart branches closed fol­low­ing Mr Briscall-Har­vey’s death and 12 staff lost their jobs.

Shortly af­ter his death his mother Gil­lian Har­vey, of Rough Com­mon, Can­ter­bury, said: “We knew trade was dif­fi­cult, but had no idea it had got so bad.

“Philip was kind, con­sid­er­ate and a won­der­ful son and fa­ther. We just can’t un­der­stand why he did it be­cause he was de­voted to his wife and chil­dren.”

Coro­ner Re­becca Cobb recorded a ver­dict of sui­cide.

Philip Briscall-Har­vey

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