Asylum seeker hanged himself 'as cry for help'

A FAILED asylum seeker found hanged in a South Tyneside park may have been trying to bring attention to his desperate plight, a coroner ruled.

South Tyneside coroner Terence Carney, recording an open verdict on Kurd Heval Huseyn Ismail, said he wasn't satisfied he intended to take his own life.

But Majid Hassan, a Newcastle-based Kurd who helps his fellow countrymen with problems in this country, said after the hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates Court: "The verdict is good in some respects, but I still believe Heval's intention was to take his own life."

Heval, 28, who came to the UK four years ago, was discovered by a passer-by on land just off Commercial Road, Laygate, South Shields, at about 3pm on Sunday, August 9 last year.

The inquest was told he arrived from Syria as a refugee, but was refused asylum seeker status by the Home Office in 2008, after which he started travelling from city to city, staying with friends.

He moved to South Shields a year ago and went to live with a friend, Ahmed Mohamed, and other Kurds in Alice Street.

In a statement read out at the hearing, Mr Mohamed said that on the night before he was found dead, Heval went out at about 10pm, saying he was going for a walk. Mr Mohamed said: "He didn't seem to be particularly unhappy or stressed."

Mr Hassan, who attended the inquest on behalf of Heval's family, said afterwards: "Heval was a failed asylum seeker who couldn't go back to his homeland because of political problems.

"He couldn't stay here and at any time could have been deported by the Home Office. He was in a hopeless situation."

Pathologist Stuart Hamilton told the hearing a post mortem examination showed Havel wasn't under the influence of drink or drugs.

Mr Carney said: "He may well have wanted to bring attention to his plight rather than deliberately take his own life.

"There are as many questions as there are answers in this sad case."