Noel Edmonds was 'pushed to brink of suicide' after falling victim to financial fraud

The Deal or No Deal host seeks compensation from Lloyds Banking Group

Jack Shepherd
Monday 19 June 2017 11:16
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Noel Edmonds
Noel Edmonds

Deal or No Deal presenter Noel Edmonds has spoken publicly about coming close to taking his own life after falling victim to financial fraud.

Edmonds currently seeks compensation from Lloyds Banking Group after a corrupt group of HBOS financiers helped destroy his former business, Unique Group

Describing the situation to the Press Association, Edmonds said he was taken "to the brink of emotional annihilation” by the situation.

"Until these criminals took me to the brink of emotional annihilation, I had always felt those who opt out by taking their own lives were selfish and cowardly,” he said.

"But having been cast into that bottomless dark space devoid of logic and reason, I have a much deeper understanding of life without hope.

"I seek no sympathy and feel no shame in admitting that on the evening of January 18th 2005 I attempted to end the overwhelming mental pain which had consumed my whole being.

"The fact that I did not become another suicide statistic is solely due to the swift response of a Devon ambulance crew and the compassionate support of the Priory in Bristol."

The former HBOS financiers were jailed earlier this year for carrying out a £245 million loans scam that destroyed several businesses, including that of Edmonds, before they squandered the profits on high-end prostitutes and luxury holidays.

Lloyds, which rescued HBOS during the financial crisis, said in April it would begin making compensation offers to fraud victims in May from a £100 million pot, with payments expected to begin in June.

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However, Edmonds has repeatedly urged Lloyds to speed up the process after launching a £50 million-plus compensation claim against the lender.

He has even gone as far as to set up a website as part of his campaign, which also references Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio's "well-publicised mental breakdown" in 2011.

Edmonds has asked several times for a personal meeting with Horta-Osorio but claims his requests have gone unanswered.

Edmonds added that, since coming back from the brink of suicide, he has gone on to donate generously to third sector organisations.

"Subsequently I have donated generously and gratefully to The Samaritans and privately I use my experience to comfort and support others for whom life has no hope.

"Please be kind, don't be judgemental - life without hope is no life," he said.

Lloyds has said that its compensation programme is "on track" and the lender has started making payments to some of those affected.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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