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Wednesbury council tenant killed himself on eviction day

A council tenant killed himself the day he was due to be evicted from his home after falling into arrears, an inquest heard.


Trevor Swann, aged 55, was found hanged in his Sandwell Council home on Warner Road in Wednesbury by bailiffs and police officers when they turned up to evict him on October 31 last year.

Manjit Rai, an area manager within the housing department at the council, told the inquest at Smethwick Council House on Friday Mr Swann had got into arrears after the Department for Work and Pensions stopped his disability benefit.

She said: "He came into recurring rent arrears on his account amounting to £4,923. We have never had an arrears account of that level within the council. That was due to the fact we had given Mr Swann every single opportunity to help him sustain the tenancy. The reason they stopped his benefits was that Mr Swann at some point divulged he had money in a bank account amounting to £37,000."

Black Country coroner Robin Balmain was told Mr Swann had withdrawn all of this money and continued to pay his rent, before he claimed the money was stolen in a burglary. The police did not believe a crime had taken place, something which Mr Swann had been planning to contest legally.

At the inquest his sister Lillian Swann, from Erdington, said she believed the money had been stolen because the house 'meant so much' to him, and if he had been able he would have paid.

Mr Balmain recorded a verdict that Mr Swann killed himself.

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