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Lawyer killed himself in Hampstead office

PUBLISHED: 14:41 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 07 September 2010

Tan Parsons A HIGH-FLYING employment lawyer committed suicide in his Hampstead office, an inquest has heard. Henryk Santocki, 37, hanged himself in the early hours of January 9 at the Hampstead High Street office of CKFT solicitors, where he had been a pa

Tan Parsons

A HIGH-FLYING employment lawyer committed suicide in his Hampstead office, an inquest has heard.

Henryk Santocki, 37, hanged himself in the early hours of January 9 at the Hampstead High Street office of CKFT solicitors, where he had been a partner since September 2008. He died at the Royal Free Hospital a short time later, after hanging himself with blue rope.

This week St Pancras Coroners Court heard how police officers were alerted on the evening of January 8 after Mr Santocki, who was also known as Scott, sent what is believed to be a suicide message via mobile phone text to his wife Elizabeth Horsman.

Giving evidence this week Ms Horsman, a solicitor, said her husband had been working late that evening because he was preparing witness statements for a case, and they had agreed to eat together once he finished work.

She said: "At 1.32am I had a text come to my mobile phone that made absolutely no sense to me given how we'd been speaking to one another during that day and over Christmas and the new year.

"He said I gave him more than anybody could ever have done. It shocked me more than I had ever been shocked by any message."

Goran Kaye, who was Mr Santocki's legal secretary at the time of his death, said there was no obvious sign of unease before the night he died.

He said: "He was very easy to get on with. He was always very kind to me, very pleasant and had a great sense of humour. He appeared happy and confident to me.

"I knew he was married but I'd never met Ms Horsman. He spoke fondly about her. He talked about his hobbies and pastimes, which included horses."

PC Peter Goodchild, based at Kentish Town Police Station, described to the court the moment he discovered the lawyer hanging from a blue nylon rope tied to the railings of the stairs in his office. He said that Mr Santocki was not breathing and had no pulse.

Coroner Dr Andrew Reid said he was confident the lawyer intended to take his own life and that it was not simply a cry for help.

Mr Santocki, who was educated at the King Edward School in Birmingham, went on to study law at Brasenose College, Oxford, before beginning his career.

His elder brother Alexander Lyndley, who had not seen him for 10 years, paid tribute to him after the inquest. He said: "He was my younger brother and my only sibling.

"He was loving, outgoing, and a happy-go-lucky kind of person. He was very highly educated. He was very dearly loved by myself, my mother and my father, who sadly died two years ago.

"My brother was particularly close to my father and I note he chose to take his life the day after what would have been my father's birthday.


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