Estate agent 'driven to suicide' by poor market

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The Independent Online

An estate agent is thought to have committed suicide after becoming worried about slumping property prices.

Richard Fulks, 36, who ran Herne Bay Estate Agents in Kent, had been increasingly concerned the market was dropping. He was found dead in his car after sending his wife a text message: "Goodnight and goodbye."

Mr Fulks's wife, Debbie, said: "He was a private and proud man. Business had slowed. The problems weren't that bad, but I think he did feel he may have let us down."

He sent his farewell message at 12.45am on 26 January, but she did not receive it until 5.30am that day. Police found Mr Fulks's body in nearby woods later that day. He is thought to have gassed himself with exhaust fumes.

Mr Fulks, who lived in Herne Bay with his wife and three sons, had run the agency since 2000. Mrs Fulks described him as "a wonderful family man."

A spokesman for Kent police said yesterday: "We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death."

An inquest is due to be held.