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Twin brothers were found hanging from the same tree in Greater Manchester within months of their benefits being axed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), it has been reported.

Manchester Evening News reports that Neil and Paul Micklewright were found by a dog walker in Urmston at about 8.40am on 31 July 2018.

Suicide notes were found “neatly laid out” on a table.


The two brothers, who are said to have “relied on each other most of the time”, received £40,000 inheritance following the death of their mother which resulted in their benefits being stopped.

DWP HQ, Caxton House, London. Photo: Paul Billanie for Welfare Weekly.

However, it is reported that neither brother had more than a few pounds in their bank accounts at the time of their deaths.

An inquest into their deaths heard that the 52-year-old twins were “gentle, kind and generous”, and had lived with their parents their entire lives.

“They were very close, sometimes to the exclusion of others”, said sister Julie Gillaspy.

The two suicide notes were described by a coroner as “essentially identical”, and offered no real clue as to the reasons behind the apparent suicide pact, other than to say that they had “had enough”.

Mrs Gillaspy told the inquest that the twins were “too proud” to go back on benefits and were suffering financial hardship in the months leading up to their death.

Photo: Pixabay

However, she added that she had “struggled to understand” why her brothers took their own lives.


“I think they struggled socially and I think it all just got on top of them”, she said.

“They were very proud people who perhaps weren’t dealt the best hand in life.”

Describing the suicide notes, assistant coroner Jason Wells said: “They offer no explanation, simply that they had had enough.”

Mr Wells said the brothers’ suicide pact “appeared to be a well-planned event”, but added: “All suicides are tragic but the death of two brothers in these circumstances is particularly tragic.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article the Samaritans offer a 24-hour helpline and can be contacted by calling 116 123.


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