An assistant stud farm manager hanged himself after his involvement in a Twitter account parodying The Queen’s racing manager John Warren was exposed.
An inquest yesterday (Tuesday 22 October) heard that Derek Larkin, 32, hanged himself in a barn in April, days after it was found he was responsible for the spoof account.
The account @LordJWarren mocked The Queen’s racing manager.
Mr Larkin, who worked at Biddestone Stud in Chippenham, Wilts, had set up the account with friend James Morgan, bloodstock manager for Capital Bloodstock Investments.
The inquest heard how Mr Larkin had initially denied involvement, but had become “frantic” with worry after he was outed by an anonymous tip-off in March, linking him to the account.
Mr Morgan told the inquest: “He texted me very early in the morning saying ‘I have been rumbled’ and that was it.
“I asked him what happened and he said someone had told a couple of agents it was him behind the account. It was really worrying him. He had never been like this before, this was frantic.”
Speaking after the inquest in Salisbury, Derek’s widow Laura said: “He felt he had let us all down. This was the only way he could see to save his family from the shame, he thought, he had brought upon himself and the stud he worked at. However misguided, it was a pure act of love and care on his part.”
Coroner David Ridley said: “At some point after 4pm on 3 April 2013 Derek drove to a remote farm building and hanged himself.
“I don’t think we will ever understand what truly went on in Derek’s head and why he felt the need to do what he did.”