Husband-to-be, 28, hanged himself next to flowers he bought his fiancée as an apology after believing they had broken up when she threw her engagement ring at him during a row
- Matthew Oliver had been arguing with his fiancée Lauren Clarke before his death
- The 28-year-old had bought her some flowers following the row at their home
- He had previously been prescribed anti-depressants but didn’t take the tablets
- His mother told the court how he would often exaggerate minor health issues
A husband-to-be hanged himself next to the flowers he bought his fiancée after believing they had broken up.
Matthew Oliver was found at the home he shared with Lauren Clarke after she threw her engagement ring at him during a row.
The pair had been watching England’s World Cup match against Columbia and Miss Clarke had pushed the 28-year-old away following an argument.
Miss Clarke, in her 20s found Mr Oliver the following morning, with a bunch of flowers he had bought for her as an apology next to him.
Matthew Oliver (left) had been dating Lauren Clarke (right) for 22 months when they had the argument at the home they shared in Manchester
Mr Oliver (left) was found by Miss Clarke (right) after he thought she had broken up with him
An inquest heard the tragedy occurred in July last year after father of one Mr Oliver, from Wythenshawe Manchester, who worked as a logistics manager had been dating Miss Clarke for 22 months.
He had been prescribed anti-depressants but did not take the tablets and was known to exaggerate minor health complaints.
Miss Clarke told the Manchester hearing that she met Mr Oliver in September 2016 and that she had a daughter, but that Mr Oliver was not the father.
She said: ‘I didn’t know he had been prescribed antidepressants before, but I did know that he would exaggerate minor health issues.
Mr OIiver (pictured above with Miss Clarke) had been prescribed anti-depressants but didn’t take the tablets
The couple (left and right) lived together and had hosted a family BBQ together before the disagreement
‘I lived with Matt and on July 3, we had a family BBQ at our home and we had a disagreement, so I went to my friends.
‘When I came back, we continued arguing and he raised his fist towards me, so I called his Mum. He tried to grab my phone, and I found it threatening.’
She highlighted that he behaved that way as she wasn’t talking to him, but stated that she didn’t want to argue.
‘After that, he went outside at about 9:30pm. The only contact after that was when I rang his Mum and we were put in a three-way conversation. He came back in the house at about 10pm.
Miss Clarke said Mr Oliver had raised his fist to her and that she wasn’t talking to him because of the way he had behaved (The couple pictured together left and right)
‘I basically said ‘let’s leave it and talk tomorrow’ and we both had a drink. I then went upstairs and brushed my teeth and then came back downstairs and he was having a cigarette.’
Miss Clarke then went to bed at around 10.15pm, not being able to sleep until 1.30am.
‘We were texting each other, I took myself out of that situation.
‘He thought that it was over because I threw my engagement ring at him, and that was when he raised his fist at me. He didn’t come into bed with me, but the light was on when I woke up so he must have done that when I was asleep.
The couple (pictured above) had both been drinking on the night of the argument and Miss Clarke tried not escalate the matter
‘I woke up at about 6:35am and I looked out of the window and his car was there. He should have started work at 7.
‘I went downstairs and looked out of the window and then turned around and he was hanging. I ran upstairs and called his mum and then made a 999 phone call.’
The paramedics then arrived and told Miss Clarke that Mr OIiver was dead.
‘The previous night, when he raised his fist to me, he said he was going to kill himself, so I rang his Mum. She had a go at him and he said that he only did it because he wanted me to talk.
Miss Clarke said Mr Oliver had believed that the relationship was over, after she threw her engagement ring at him (The couple together on holiday, above)
‘I never slapped him, I only pushed him away. He was crying in the car, but I didn’t lock him out.’
Mr Oliver’s mother Dawn Ockerby, a retired nurse, said that Mr Oliver would often say he had man flu if he was suffering with a cough or a cold.
‘He would be dramatic about his health. In 2011/2012, he was prescribed anti-depressants after his father was diagnosed with cancer and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Matthew was our only child so we were going through a lot at the time.
‘He regularly visited me – two to three times a week. He had never threatened to harm himself before or never gave me any clue of a mental disorder. He met and formed a relationship with Lauren and that had been going on for 22 months before the time he died.
Mr Oliver’s mother said Miss Clarke had called her following the argument the pair had (Mr Oliver and Miss Clarke, pictured above on a beach)
‘Lauren visited and stayed a couple of nights. Matthew is the father of a child and he wasn’t living with him – he saw him at a contact centre.’
She said she received the phone call on the morning that her son was found.
‘It was at 6:45 and Lauren’s exact words were ‘quick, quick, come quick; I think Matt has done something stupid, I think he has killed himself’ the she put the phone down.. I tried to call her back, but I couldn’t get through.’
Mrs Ockerby added: ‘I had heard about him raising his fist the night before. Lauren had called me up – the football had been on, the World Cup. She was hysterical and she said he raised his fist to her face.
‘I said ‘hang on Lauren, he would never hit you.’ She told me she slapped him three times. She then said she locked him out of the house and he was sat in his car. I put him on loudspeaker and my son was crying because she locked him out of the house.’
Mr Oliver’s mother said she thought he was going to marry Miss Clarke and that she was going to give him a house (the couple pictured together, above)
She added that she had told both Miss Clarke and her son off and that she then had no further contact with him.
‘I was going to give him the house as he was going to marry Lauren.’
Test showed Mr Oliver had 109 milligrams of alcohol per 100 mililitres of blood in his system at the time of his death. The blood/alcohol limit for driving is 80mg.
Recording a conclusion of suicide coroner, Nigel Meadows, said: ‘At the time of his death, he had a moderate amount of alcohol in his system, but not enough to impair his judgement. It’s my sad duty as a coroner to have presided over well over 1,000 cases of suicide.
‘If an individual who kills themselves had a better understanding of the way their actions would affect someone else’s life, they probably would have stopped and thought a bit more about their actions, as it has a lasting effect on family and friends.
‘A bereavement is an ongoing process for everyone, time makes it a lot easier to bear, but it never goes away. On a balance of probabilities, I am satisfied that Matthew took his own life.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article then you can call the Samaritans on 116 123, alternatively you can visit the website at by clicking here.