A witness haunted by the brutal murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013 took his own life after suffering years of mental trauma, an inquest heard.
Unemployed Danny Cornelius was found dead in the garden of his grandparent's home in Gravesend, Kent in July, after being tormented by the horrific murder committed by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale on 22 May 2013,
The two extremists claimed that the attack was revenge for the treatment of Muslims around the world, which place near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London. The 38-year-old Cornelius once lived on the road where Rigby was hacked to death and reportedly became a recluse after witnessing the attack.
Cornelius never married or had children and rarely left his home, an inquest heard. In addition, he was the victim of two violent robberies, with his gold chain stolen at knifepoint and on another occasion, being forced to withdraw money from a cashpoint and hand it over to assailants.
Cornelius suffered from paranoid schizophrenia after being disconnected from friends before he witnessed the horrific murder.
Speaking at the inquest into Cornelius' death at Maidstone Coroner's Court, Detective Sargeant Sivarajah said according to the Daily Mail: "Mr Cornelius witnessed much of what happened. It would have been a huge trauma. It shook the whole community. The violence and perpetrators of that would have brought up his own previous experiences.
"After that he became more isolated. He still visited his family, but he mainly stayed indoors."
Cornelius, who once worked as a courier, failed to gain a promotion before stopping work entirely, according to Report UK. He also spent time helping an elderly with her shopping until she passed away.
The inquest heard how Cornelius would often stay at his grandparents' home in Kent, where he was found hanged. He had planned to get his hair cut, but his grandparents could not take him into the town and this may have triggered his actions.
DS Sivarajah said: "He was upset about this and went out into the garden." After being in the garden for some time his grandfather Kenneth discovered him dead. The inquest gave the cause of death as hanging finding that there was no third party involvement and no suicide note left. Coroner Roger Hatch recorded an open verdict.
The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It can be contacted via Samaritans.org or by calling 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.