Identical twin brothers whose benefits were stopped found hanged from same tree

The fish tank had been emptied, clothes had been packed away in plastic bags, electrical appliances switched off, batteries removed from smoke alarms and the beds stripped… ‘they had had enough’

Identical twin brothers were found hanged from the same tree in a park in a tragic suicide pact, an inquest heard.

Neil and Paul Micklewright had suffered financial troubles in the months before their deaths, the inquest heard.

They’d had their benefits stopped following a £40,000 inheritance after the death of their mum but at the time of their own deaths they were said to have just a few pounds left in their bank accounts.

The twins’ bodies were found by a dog walker in Urmston’s Davyhulme Park, Greater Manchester, at about 8.40am on Tuesday July 31 last year.

Assistant coroner Jason Wells described notes found in both their pockets as ‘essentially identical’, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Similar longer notes to those found on the brothers were also ‘neatly laid out’ on a table at their home.

The Stockport coroners court inquest heard the 52-year-old twins, who were described as ‘gentle, kind and generous’, had lived together in Urmston their entire lives.

First they lived with their parents, Ron, who died in 1990, and Joan, who died in 2014, before moving into their own flat.

Sister Julie Gillaspy described the Manchester City-supporting twins as ‘introverted’ and said they ‘relied on each other most of the time’.

“They were very close, sometimes to the exclusion of others,” she added.

The inquest heard that in the months before their deaths the brothers had suffered financial troubles.

Neil and Paul, on-off warehouse workers who survived through occasional agency shifts, had their benefits stopped after receiving a £40,000 inheritance following the death of their mum.

At the time of their death they had just a few pounds left in their bank accounts.

Mrs Gillaspy said she had “struggled to understand why this had happened”, but believed the brothers were “too proud” to go back on benefits and that their money worries may have played a part in their decision to take their own lives.

She added: “I think they struggled socially and I think it all just got on top of them.

“They were very proud people who perhaps weren’t dealt the best hand in life.”

Police coroners officer David Wood told the inquest when officers searched the brothers’ flat they found financial documents had been arranged in folders.

He told how the fridge and freezer had been emptied and defrosted, the fish tank had been emptied and cleaned, their clothes had been packed away in plastic bags, electrical appliances had been switched off, the batteries were removed from the smoke alarms and the beds had been stripped.

Describing the notes assistant coroner Jason Wells said: “They offer no explanation, simply that they had had enough.”

A post-mortem examination gave both brothers’ cause of death as hanging.

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