UK man sets himself alight after falling in to debt

Tragic stories like this are becoming increasingly common in Britain, as another person takes his own life - and his family blame it on the recession.

Earlier this month, Stephanie Botrill committed suicide, blaming the government and their new bedroom tax.

Now father of one, 36 year old Antony Breeze has set himself alight after getting in to debt.

An inquest in to his death heard how last August, Anthony walked to a secluded wood near his family home in Bolton, and set himself on fire. He told a horrified onlooker that he was in debt and had “had enough”. He suffered 73-percent burns and died the next day.

In the weeks before his death aggressive loan sharks had been ringing him day and night over £1,600 worth of debt. He had been seeing a counsellor over the arrears and had lost over six kilos in weight in just a few weeks.

Police investigating his death found he owed money to several payday loan companies.

These controversial short-term lenders easily charge 3 or 4,000% interest for people to borrow small amounts of money.

They have been strongly criticised, and the office of fair trading has revoked the licence of two lenders, and is investigating three more.

The coroner at the inquest declared an open verdict in Anthony Breeze’s death, saying he could not see how this would drive him to take his own life. But his family - and Stephanie Botrill’s - are convinced that it did. And experts say these won’t be the last losses as the economic crisis lingers on in Britain.