Wolverhampton firm boss facing extradition over Canada raid killed himself

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A company director who was due to be extradited to Canada to serve the remainder of a prison sentence imposed for robbery and forcible imprisonment killed himself, an inquest has heard.

Joaquim Santos, aged 50, was discovered in a storage unit at his marble and granite firm Marblecraft, based at Wolverhampton Science Park. At an inquest held in Walsall it was revealed that Mr Santos was due to be extradited for crimes he was convicted of committing in Canada in 1992.

The Home Office was unable to say how much of the sentence he had served or why it had not been completed.

Mr Santos's partner of 20 years, Karen Thorburn, told the inquest: "The business was struggling but he never threatened to harm himself.

"Authorities in Canada wanted to extradite him and this affected him deeply."

Miss Thorburn said that Mr Santos, of Moor Lane in Hapsford, Cheshire, had been speaking with solicitors and a date for the extradition hearing had yet to be set.

Employee Paul Hill, of Perry Avenue in Bushbury, found Mr Santos dead on June 26 last year. He was discovered lying in a shipping container that was used for storage.

Despite the efforts of Mr Hill, paramedics and doctors at New Cross Hospital, Mr Santos was pronounced dead in the hospital's emergency department just before 1pm.

A post mortem showed he had died from asphyxiation and there were no drugs or alcohol in his body at the time.


Miss Thorburn said: "He was a hard working man. Physically he was fine but he was depressed. He was a deep thinker and he took his responsibilities to me and to his staff extremely seriously."

Black Country coroner Robin Balmain said: "It rather looks as if the pressure of the business and extradition were weighing heavily on him."

Marblecraft was established in 1996 and claimed to be one of the largest stockists of marble and granite in the UK. The business has now closed.

Santos had previously been jailed for 15 months after police found £17,000 of cannabis plants at the firm, which employed 22 people and turned over £2 million a year at the height of its success.

He was said to have grown the plants to help pay VAT and tax demands of around £100,000.

Mr Balmain recorded a verdict of death by suicide.

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