Lloyd's losses led to suicide

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A LLOYD'S of London insurance underwriter shot himself after becoming depressed about more than pounds 50m of losses at a syndicate for which he acted, an inquest concluded yesterday.

Roy Bromley, 71, of Dorset Square, Marylebone, had become more and more anxious as 'bad news followed upon bad news', Paul Knapman, the Westminster coroner, said.

Nicholas Bromley, the underwriter's son, told Dr Knapman of his concerns about his father, and had booked him an appointment with a psychiatrist on 20 January at 5.30pm.

On the day he was due to meet the psychiatrist he was found dead in his flat with his shotgun by his side. The police were called to the flat at 4.35pm.

Detective Inspector Richard Leach said it appeared that Mr Bromley had used the ledge of a set of French windows in the flat as a lever to push the gun into his body, before pulling the trigger. Mr Bromley died almost immediately, Ravi Fernando, the pathologist, said.

Nicholas Bromley, a civil servant, of Kentish Town, told the court that his father was ousted from his agency company, which ran syndicate 475, in 1991, but he continued to work from home trying to regain his position.

Asked by Dr Knapman if he knew anything about his father receiving an envelope from Lloyd's with even more bad news just before his death, Mr Bromley said he knew nothing about that.

Although he appeared calm on the surface, underneath there was a great degree of panic and fear, he added. Dr Knapman recorded a verdict that Mr Bromley had killed himself.

Last December the 1,750 members of his syndicate, who include the actress Susan Hampshire and her impresario husband Eddie Kulukundis, were told by the syndicate's agents, Spratt and White, that the losses had climbed from pounds 14m to pounds 54m.

The agents are attempting to provide revised figures for the members that are likely to show that losses have climbed still higher.