A 20-year-old unemployed gardener killed himself after he was turned down for up to 40 jobs in 12 weeks, his family have said.
Martin Hadfield was found dead in his flat in Tottington, Greater Manchester, a day after meeting with staff at his local Jobcentre. Unknown to him, he was being considered for a job in a factory.
Speaking after the inquest into Mr Hadfield’s death, his stepfather Peter O’Gorman, 47, told the Mirror that his stepson was “a real grafter” who lost his job as a gardener when the firm down-sized.
“He hated being out of work or sitting at home doing nothing. If he could have worked seven days a week, he would have,” he said.
“After he lost his job he was searching for work and had been waiting on phone calls back from all the applications he sent out. It just seemed firms wanted to hire younger workers for lower wages.
“He applied for a load of jobs in the time he was out of work – at least 30 or 40. His dad and sister would help him with his CV too. He wasn’t fussy. He would have taken anything just to be working.”
Mr O’Gorman said that he had heard from many people that “the Jobcentre experience is very demoralising”.
“The bureaucracy is ridiculous… Many people go in with a sense of self-worth – they really do want a job – but come out feeling demoralised and put down,” he said.
“There seems a stereotype surrounding youngsters between 18 and 25 who go to Jobcentres. There are some in that group who don’t want work but there are plenty who are eager to earn a living.
“It broke his heart to go in there. He isn’t like some people his age, happy on the dole watching Jeremy Kyle day after day, he would have taken anything that was offered and would have been great at it.”
He said the young man was “never a statistic to us” but had become one to others in the last months of his life. “He was a statistic by being out of work, a statistic when he went into the Jobcentre and now he is a statistic by killing himself,” Mr O’Gorman said.
Mr Hadfield’s mother Annie O’Gorman, 50, a former prison officer, said her son “just didn’t think to talk to someone about what he was going through”.
“It was just a tragic moment of madness,” she said.
Coroner Simon Nelson, who recorded a verdict of suicide, said: “Martin was clearly very highly thought of and these are fine attributes indeed. It may well be a moment of madness, but I feel sure that he intended the consequences of his actions.
“Young men in particular tend to act or react impulsively to life’s events. The way of trying to come to terms with life’s events is talking it through – even if you do not realise it at the time.”
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