Tragedy of father after asylum bid fails

Rotherham coroner Nicola Mundy
Rotherham coroner Nicola Mundy
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AN ASYLUM seeker from Zimbabwe who had been refused British residency sent several poignant messages to his partner in the last moments before he was found hanged.

Factory worker Bee Moyo, 45, came to the UK five years ago but was upset after having been refused a resident’s permit, an inquest in Rotherham heard.

He argued with his new partner Sibonakele, whose surname is also Moyo, and stormed out of the house saying he was going to hang himself from a tree in some local woods.

The hearing was told the father-of-six sent a series of texts in the early hours of March 12 this year to Ms Moyo, who he had wanted to marry.

He had accused her of having an affair which she had strenuously denied.

His first text, timed at 12.37am, said: “I’m going to marry the tree. Goodnight and goodbye and have a good life.”

The next text at 2.46am read: “Just getting ready. Tell my people.” At 3.21am he texted: “I’m sorry.”

Ten minutes later another message said: “Goodbye Sibonakele. Tell them what happened.”

At 3.40am he texted: “Are you ready to tell the truth or what?”

After being alerted by Mr Moyo’s partner, police mounted a frantic search in Ferham Park, Masbrough, shining powerful torches into the trees.

Officers could not find him in their initial search but later located his body hanging from a tree at 5.57.

Ms Moyo told the hearing she moved in with her partner in December last year at his home in Cavendish Road, Holmes, Rotherham. He had six children, two in Leeds and four back in Zimbabwe.

Although they had talked of marriage he “seemed unhappy”. While she worked he had lost his job and he was a proud man.

“He was a good man and wanted to contribute,” she said. “He thought his children were suffering.”

Mr Moyo accused her of having an affair which she was adamant was untrue and then Mr Moyo told her he was leaving to hang himself from a tree.

He then rang to say he was in Ferham Park. “He took nothing with him and did not have a drink or take any medication or drugs,” she said.

She tried to talk him out of ending his life but he remained in that mindset. She did not know whether he intended to kill himself or whether it was a cry for help.

Police found the body hanging from a tree with a ligature made of tights. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation failed.

Rotherham coroner Nicola Mundy said as well as his residency application being refused by the Home Office, Mr Moyo was out of work which affected his self-esteem and he was unable to provide for his children financially.

“Clearly he was struggling to cope with matters and sending texts to his partner and friends indicating his intention to end his life,” she said.

“Such was his partner’s concern she left work and got back in the early hours and spent time trying to persuade him there was a solution but despite her efforts he wouldn’t be dissuaded.”

Ms Mundy recorded an open verdict saying there was a possibility that Mr Moyo had intended to be found and resuscitated.