Coq d"Argent: Married banker, 46, leapt seven floors to his death from open air City restaurant "after struggling to pay children"s…


Married banker, 46, leapt seven floors to his death from City restaurant Coq d'Argent 'after struggling to pay children's school fees'Inquest finds Nico Lambrechts intended to kill himself when he jumped off the roof of Coq d'Argent in October last yearBanker was about to move home to South Africa and had financial troubles

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Suicide: Mr Lambrechts jumped to his death in the internal atrium of the building in the City of London

Police stand at the spot where Mr Lambrechts fell to his death

Site: Police stand at the spot where Mr Lambrechts fell to his death

Domenico Ferrini, who hired Mr
Lambrechts at Investec in June last year, said that the banker had
joined the company shortly before it was due to move its headquarters to
Cape Town.

'He was very interested to start with and it was a wonderful opportunity within our growing business,' he said.

'I
think there were a few things he was worried about. Relocating back to
South Africa concerned him and the political climate there – was it the
right thing

'The
transition of being very successful in his previous job, and having to
re-establish himself at Investec. I tried to help him find his feet,
that kind of thing.'

'Pressure': An inquest heard Mr Lambrechts, who fell to his death from the terrace of the restaurant at the top of the No1 Poultry in the City, had become stressed over a forthcoming move to South Africa

'Pressure': An inquest heard Mr Lambrechts, who fell to his death from the terrace of the restaurant at the top of the No1 Poultry in the City, had become stressed over a forthcoming move to South Africa

Another colleague, Duncan Coombe, said Mr Lambrechts had expressed concerns about his financial arrangements ahead of the move.

'He
couldn't claim access to his salary as he was being paid in South
Africa,' he said. 'He had school fees for his children to pay and this
was causing him concern.'

PC Trish Robinson, who investigated the death, told the inquest that CCTV footage made it clear the death was 'a very deliberate act', and suggested that Mr Lambrechts had been 'at a very low ebb'.

She added: 'On one occasion he had said he was going to be home and he hadn't turned up. His wife had been trying to get hold of him.

'Later on he said he had felt very low, he had been sitting somewhere and contemplated suicide.'

Coroner Roy Palmer said: 'I don't think there's any suggestion it was an accident. It was plainly a deliberate act.

'I think on the totality of the evidence I have to ensure, and I am sure that he intended to die by his actions. You do not go down seven floors and over a wall without that.'

A spokesman for the City of London said that authorities were in talks with Coq d'Argent to raise the barriers surrounding the terrace to around 2m, and added that a security guard was now being deployed on the roof to deter future suicide attempts.

Volunteers from the Samaritans have also spoken to staff at the restaurant to train them in what to do if anyone tries to jump.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch – see www.samaritans.org for details.