Tormented father hanged himself hours after receiving a letter ordering him to pay thousands in backdated child support for his grown-up son.
45-year-old Ian Sandywell committed suicide after he was informed by the Child Support Agency that he would have to provide around $605 a month in back payments for his 22-year-old son, Ben.
The Daily Mail reported that after receiving the notice, the father was so tormented by financial stress that he decided to hang himself to death. The Child Support Agency’s notice demanded around $12,000 in backdated maintenance payments for his son.
The devastated father’s body was found at their home by his wife, Jo-Ann Balsamo, 41 after she returned home from work one evening. Balsamo said he had called her at 12:30 p.m. asking about the child support.
It was later discovered that Sandywell texted his son only hours before his suicide asking him to ‘delete’ him from his life. “I’m going to hang myself,” he wrote.
Balsamo expressed that the demanding notice from the government might have been the ultimate pressure that led his husband to take his own life. He had been paying child support for 13 years.
Sandywell, who worked as a car salesman, had been engulfed in a dispute with his former wife Sharon Stroynowski, 46, for over two years after their 2001 divorce, an inquest at Stafford Coroners Court heard.
Balsamo also explained that the Child Support Agency had begun sending out more and more letters to Sandywell warning him that he there were a lot of outstanding payments from him to be made to Ben as he was growing up.
The letters, which Balsamo claimed as ‘rude,’ left the man in despair over the fear that he would not be able to afford the payment to support her and to pay the mortgage.
His last text to Ben read, “I’m sorry Ben, I love you.”
His son explained that he was not close to his father and he took the text message as a joke. He told the source that he was quite young when his parents split and the maintenance payments had become “hit and miss.”