Dad hanged himself live on webcam after being taunted by trolls online – and live stream was still running when cops found body

A DAD hanged himself live on webcam after being taunted by trolls online – and the live stream was still running when cops found his body, an inquest heard today.

Leon Jenkins, 43, hanged himself in his living room as users of video group chat site Paltalk watched in horror from as far as Canada and Australia.

Builder Leon Jenkins, 43, was found dead by police after allegedly being goaded by cruel trolls in an insult chatroom
Wales News Service

Members raised the alarm and when police forced their way into his Cardiff home they could hear voices “with American accents” coming from his computer.

Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard it was the third similar tragedy in Britain involving users of the Paltalk site.

The inquest was told that the builder “lived part of his life online” and had struggled with anxiety and depression in the months before he took his own life.

Pc Phillip Coleman of South Wales Police told the court that while officers stood outside his locked door, they could hear one voice asking “Is that real?” and a reply of “I don’t think so.”

The dad-of-three was found hanged in the living room of his home in Cardiff, South Wales
Wales News Service
Police say Leon had left the live stream running when he killed himself
Wales News Service

Pc Coleman said Mr Jenkins was found “pale and was not breathing” and was given CPR by other officers but paramedics declared him death at 8.13am on July 25.

PC Carla Morris-Griffiths said: “The caller said a male, believed to be Leon Jenkins, had hanged himself live on webcam.

“They said they couldn’t be sure if it was real or a hoax as the person said he was a bit eccentric.”

Leon’s father Peter Jenkins, 68, told the inquest that he would hear his son “shouting and swearing” when using the Paltalk site.

Leon struggled with anxiety and depression in the months before he took his own life
Wales News Service
Users from the USA, Canada and Australia contacted the administrator for the Canada-based website after Leon hanged himself live on camera
Wales News Service
Phone records showed Mr Jenkins’ last outgoing call was made to his girlfriend in Tennessee
Wales News Service

He said: “Leon would use Paltalk to occupy his time.

“He didn’t mention to me any concerns about it but he would use it at my house.

“I knew it was an insult room. I would hear him swearing and shouting at the site.”

South Wales Police removed a computer and mobile phone to examine his internet activity leading up to the tragedy.

Officers could hear voices with American accents coming from Mr Jenkins’ computer when they arrived at his home
Wales News Service
South Wales Police received a 999 call at 7am on July 25 after a Paltalk administrator in Canada was alerted by other site users
Wales News Service

Police are investigated claims that Mr Jenkins was goaded into killing himself at his bedsit where he lived alone – but Coroner Rachel Knight said there was no evidence to confirm this.

Miss Knight said: “Inquiries were made in Canada, America and Australia but witnesses were not forthcoming.”

She said Leon’s death was the third on the Paltalk site.

She said: “There are two previous incidents of men hanging themselves on webcam on the same site.

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide at the hearing today
Wales News Service

“They were both investigated by West Mercia Police and the Metropolitan Police.”

Police found Mr Jenkins dead inside the flat where he had lived alone for the last 18 years.

Neighbours had reported Mr Jenkins to Cardiff City Council over the noise and bad language coming from his flat.

The hearing in Pontypridd heard Leon had a history of mental health problems and had been diagnosed as bi-polar before his death.

The hearing was told a post mortem found he was almost three times the legal drink drive limit at the time of his death.

The tragedy came seven months after south London plasterer Gregory Tomkins, 39, killed himself on Paltalk on Christmas Day.

In 2007, 42-year-old electrician Kevin Whitrick, from Wellington in Shropshire, died on the site as dozens of users watched.

Assistant South Wales Coroner Miss Knight recorded a conclusion of suicide at the inquest in Pontypridd.


If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans (free) on 116 123.


 

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