Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tongue Wagging Gossips Drive Family Man to Suicide

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tongue Wagging Gossips Drive Family Man to Suicide

Article excerpt

Byline: By Vince Gledhill

Poisonous gossips drove a family man to his death, an inquest heard.

Tongue waggers wrongly branded Michael Armstrong a paedophile and robbed him of the will to live.

For 18 months he put up with the vile whispering campaign as his character was blackened by unfounded rumours until he could take no more.

And in a sudden outburst in November, he told his wife Michelle: "I have had enough. I am going upstairs to die."

She thought he was going to bed to sleep, but two hours later found him dead.

A post mortem showed Mr Armstrong, 46, had died from a mix of alcohol a painkillers.

Today his widow told how her life is now in tatters, she said: "I thought we were going to grow old together, but I have lost the man I loved because of all this.

"I might have been able to cope better if he'd had an accident or a heart attack, but not this. It has wrecked my life as well."

The pathologist's report showed Mr Armstrong had taken about 30 of the tablets. He had also had the equivalent of eight pints of beer.

At the Morpeth inquest PC Wayne Angus told coroner Ian McCreath: "The deceased was depressed over false allegations that he was a paedophile. The allegations were made 18 months ago."

At the family home Mr Armstrong's widow said when the rumours began, police carried out an investigation which showed they were unfounded.

They surfaced again more recently when a neighbour heard them being repeated at a store.

"Michael was not the type of person to say how he was feeling, he used to bottle things up. But he was depressed about losing his job on September 15 last year. We were going to lose the car because we couldn't keep up the payments, we had to send the computer back, and that got to him and then this flared up again," she said.

Two months later Mr Armstrong swallowed the deadly cocktail of drink and drugs. …

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