This week 60 years ago: Finsbury Park woman behind on rent kills herself

Islington Gazette: July 26, 1957

Islington Gazette: July 26, 1957 - Credit: Archant

A Finsbury Park woman who faced a court hearing over rent owed to her landlord took her own life, an inquest heard.

Kathleen Gates, of Gloucester Drive, was found dead in her gas filled room on the day she was scheduled to appear at the court.

The coroner heard how Ms Gates had £70 (the equivalent of £1,500 in today’s terms) in rent arrears against her.

Her brother, Septimus, told St Pancras Coroner’s Court: “She kept her affairs to herself. By her demeanour I did not think the court hearing was pressing her.”

But coroner W. Purchase concluded: “I have no doubt that she became overcome by her position and took her own life.”

Meanwhile, a Cally mechanic was killed after the car he was working on fell on top of him.

John Ashman, 54, was removing a shackle pin from the vehicle outside his Gifford Street home.

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A police vehicle examiner found the car fell as he didn’t use a spreader to retain the spring.