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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
news
News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
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

Recruitment Genius: Brand Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you wish to be part of an exciting journey ...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Recruitment Genius: Print / Warehouse Operative

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking to join a finance team shrouded in th...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower