Cycle shop debts led to father’s suicide
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.