NACSA NEWS Sep/Oct 1995

Demands for cash from the Child Support Agency caused a Clifton (near Bedford) man to commit suicide (reported the 27 August 1995 edition of Bedfordshire on Sunday). Michael Horner had become deeply depressed because he was unable to meet large maintenance payments ordered by the Agency for the upkeep of a child from a previous marriage. His decomposed corpse was found in a car at Langford on Monday 21 August. A hosepipe had been attached to the exhaust. Mr Horner, a caterer, had been missing from home for two days. He lived with his second wife Pauline and despite making an amicable settlement with his ex-wife in court, the CSA plagued him with demands for vastly increased maintenance payments. Speaking before his funeral his wife said: “The CSA was a big factor in his death. He’s dead now and nothing is going to bring him back.” A CSA spokesman said: “The CSA is always willing to discuss any worries people have about their cases if they contact us. It’s a matter of great sadness when anybody takes his own life but we can’t know all the circumstances which may have led to it. Like any other organisation responsible for enforcing legal or financial responsibilities, the Agency sometimes has to enter people’s lives with news that may well add to their existing problems. We make every effort to ensure that such legal liabilities are dispatched accurately.”