Search

Political cartoonist Leon Kuhn took his own life after failure of 30 year marriage

16:00 15 May 2014

Leon Kuhn.

Leon Kuhn.

Archant

A renowned political cartoonist who killed himself jumping in front of a Tube train, suffered a mental breakdown following the failure of his 30-year marriage, an inquest heard.

Leon Kuhn, 59, was killed instantly by the train at Finchley Road Underground Station on December 19.

His brother Philip said Mr Kuhn, of Goldhurst Terrace, West Hampstead, had struggled with mental illness since the 1980s and suffered two mental breakdowns in the months before his death.

In a statement read out at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, he added: “His marriage was difficult as his wife was diagnosed with schizophrenia and that made things hard for both of them.

“The death of our mother in 2008 affected Leon deeply, it removed the one safe place to which he could always return.

“This was forever exacerbated when his wife left him in 2008 after 30 years of marriage. Her leaving him hit him very hard.”

Following the collapse of his marriage, Leon, who was born in Golders Green, started a new relationship and moved to Croatia so he could live with his girlfriend.

But in July, he admitted himself to a hospital in Split after suffering a breakdown. His brother’s statement read: “He had doubts about the relationship. He could not see a bright future.”

The cartoonist, who regularly contributed to left-wing tabloid The Morning Star and political magazine The New Statesman, then returned to England for treatment.

In the months that followed, Leon regularly visited his GP at the Abbey Medical Centre, in St John’s Wood, and had weekly sessions with consultant psychiatrist David Bell at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in Belsize Lane, Belsize Lane.

Dr Bell said Leon, a former pupil at Lyndhurst House School, in Lyndhurst Gardens, Hampstead and University College School (UCS), in Frognal, suffered from severe abandonment issues and was chronically anxious about his medication.

On November 9, he suffered another breakdown after his girlfriend broke off their relationship.

He was admitted him to the Capio Nightingale Hospital in Marylebone and then transferred to Highgate Mental Health Centre, in Dartmouth Park Hill, Highgate. He was discharged a week later.

With all of his doctors, Leon complained that his medication was not working quickly enough and that therapy was not helping.

Senior coroner Dr Mary Hassell concluded that he took his own life.

Related stories:

George Galloway leads tributes to ‘genius’ cartoonist killed at Finchley Road Tube station

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:30
The number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square which was blown up by a suicide bomber on 7/7. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/PA

Relatives of those who died in the July 7 bombings that brought terrorism to the streets of Camden will be returning to the borough tomorrow to mark its 10-year anniversary.

Yesterday, 17:15
7/7 survivor Gill Hicks hugs Camden PC Andy Maxwell, who came to her aid when she was injured at Kings Cross Station in London nearly 10 years ago. Picture: PA Wire

This is the touching moment a 7/7 bombing survivor was today reunited with the Camden police officer who saved her life.

Yesterday, 16:41
Nicky Morgan with pupil with Holly Class during a science lesson. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan joined pupils in the classroom at a world-leading special school in Swiss Cottage.

Yesterday, 15:59
Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Polly Hancock.

New Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer will sit on the prestigious home affairs select committee in parliament.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder