Banker who jumped from rooftop London restaurant was under 'enormous amount of pressure' in his job

 

A banker jumped to his death from a rooftop London restaurant after coming under “an enormous amount of pressure” in his job, an inquest heard today.

Nico Lambrechts, 46, fell seven floors from the Coq D’Argent at No 1 Poultry in the City of London months after starting at investment bank Investec. The venue has since closed all rooftop terraces and ordered a barrier to be installed after four deaths in the last five years.

His widow wept as City of London Coroner’s Court heard how the father of three died of multiple injuries, including severe head wounds, after jumping from the terrace in October last year. He had a long phone conversation with his wife, Adele, moments before his death.

In May 2007, City employee Richard Ford died after jumping from the restaurant’s terrace onto a bus below. Two years later Deutsche Bank employee Anjool Malde, 24, killed himself at the same spot. A third person, businesswoman Rema Begum, 29, committed suicide in the same way only a month before Mr Lambrechts.

The inquest heard how Mr Lambrechets, from Cobham, Surrey, had contemplated ending his life after he was unable to transfer cash from his native South Africa to pay for school fees for his children.

The man who hired him at Investec Asset Management, Domenico Ferrini, told the court how Mr Lambrechts had moved to the firm, which was due to move back to Cape Town, on 1 July last year, after years at rival company Merrill Lynch.

“I think there were a few things he was worried about,” he told the inquest. “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.”

The City of London’s health and safety officer, Rachel Sambells, said talks were underway to raise the height of the wall on the terrace to 2m by using metal bars.

“The terraces have been closed off in the main part and a security guard has been employed to patrol the area,” she said. “If anyone is up alone up there he approaches them and makes sure they don’t have the same intention.” Volunteers from the Samaritans have also spoken to staff at the restaurant to train them in what to do if anyone tries to jump from the terraces, she added.

Coroner Dr Roy Palmer said he was sure that Lambrechts, of Hillview Place, Cobham, had intended to take his own life on 11 October and was “very sorry” that his widow had lost her husband in the tragedy. “I have to be sure, and I am sure, that he intended to die by his actions,” he said.

“You don’t fall seven floors and go over a wall without that. I do not doubt that he was seriously stressed but I conclude that he killed himself and I am very sorry that he did so in such sad circumstances,” he added.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home