A British plasterer live-streamed his own suicide on Christmas Day on a chat room where people go to insult one another.

Users from around the world watched as Gregory Tomkins, 39, broadcast his hanging live on the controversial "Apple Inc Insults" video chat room, which is run by US company Paltalk (not affiliated with the Apple tech company).

The chat room hit the headlines 10 years ago when another Briton died in similar circumstances.

Tomkins' body was found at his home in Wallington, south London at 3.36am on Christmas Day after a concerned chat room user dialled 999.

A Met Police spokesperson said the death is not being treated as suspicious and his parents have been informed.

Tomkins was said to be a regular user of the "insults" chat room.

One user described how, in the moments leading up to his death, he logged on and simply sat at his computer screen without talking.

He then went into another room and appeared to hang himself. The incident was said to have taken place in the space of 30 seconds.

The US-based chat room admin, known online as Throat Punch, spoke of how he desperately tried to encourage users in the UK to call the police when he realised what was happening.

He said: "As an admin in the room at the time this tragedy took place, the frustration of not being able to contact police because dialling 101 or 999 from a country outside the UK became immediately apparent.

"By the time it took me to get a room member from the UK to contact 999, it was way too late. Sitting by watching people ignore requests to call police was truly futile."

Users paid tribute to Tomkins on the chat room, describing him as a "funny guy" and a "good soul".

One neighbour in his quiet suburban street in Clarendon Road, Wallington, said the self-employed plasterer had run-ins with the police.

The local resident, who has lived in the street for eight years, described Tomkins as "a bit of a loose canon".

He told the Daily Mail: "I think he had some dealings with the police. Occasionally they would be here. He would shout out the window at people passing by. He maybe had some mental issues. No one knew much about him. It's really sad."

The death comes 10 years after father-of-two Kevin Whitrick, 42, of Shropshire, broadcast his own death live online to another insults group run by Paltalk.

He was found dead after being goaded by users to "f*****g do it".

One user said the chat room should be investigated. She said: "I believe this room was no good for Greg's mental health. It certainly wasn't the right place for him.

"He is not the only chatter that has suffered in this room. I would like the police to investigate this and also to prevent this from ever happening again."

A Met Police spokesperson said: "Police were called at 3.36am on Monday, December 25, to an address in Clarendon Road, Wallington, after concerns were raised for the welfare of an occupant.

"Officers attended. A man, believed to be in his 30s, was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.

"Next of kin are aware. The death is not being treated as suspicious. A file will be prepared for the coroner."

The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Visit Samaritans.org or call 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit this website to find a support phone number in your country.