Gosport dad wracked with survivor’s guilt after his friend’s tragic death takes his own life

Matthew Bailey, who was Kyle Cantle's friend
Matthew Bailey, who was Kyle Cantle's friend
Police tape

Noisy yobs smash windows in Waterlooville

  • Kyle Cantle could not overcome his grief following the death of his friend Mattew Bailey in 2010
  • Matthew had been crossing the road when he was knocked down by a motorist chasing her cheating partner
  • Kyle took his life just days after the fifth anniversary of the tragedy

A FATHER who was left heartbroken after witnessing the death of his friend took his life almost five years to the day of the tragedy.

Kyle Cantle, 28, had been battling depression since his friend Matthew Bailey was knocked down by a car and killed in front of him on November 21, 2010.

Clearly poor Kyle did take that death of Matt very, very badly and found that something he couldn’t overcome

Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley

The pair had been on a night out when Claire Johnson, then 25, of Locks Road, Locks Heath, ran a red light and ploughed into 22-year-old Mr Bailey as he crossed Park Road, Landport.

She had been speeding on the wrong side of the road, attempting to catch up to her lover Russell Bennett, who she suspected had been cheating on her.

Johnson was jailed for two years in 2011 for her careless driving.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court yesterday heard that Mr Cantle, of Bury Road, Gosport, had 
been devastated by the loss of his friend.

Depressed, he turned to alcohol, his grief-stricken mother Audrey Cantle told the court.

And every November when the anniversary of Mr Bailey’s death approached, Mr Cantle’s drinking would intensify, she said.

Things came to a head during a party on November 28, last year.

Kyle began to drink heavily and became aggressive, eventually leaving his friends.

In the early hours of November 29 Audrey received a WhatsApp message from Kyle, in which he said he was going to take his life.

The message said, ‘I want to end it all’, Detective Sergeant David West told the court.

The family reported Mr Cantle missing and desperately launched a search for him. However, he was found by police hanging from a tree in Brookers Field at 7.55am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His mum Audrey said Mr Cantle would regularly drink heavily at the weekend but that he had been working hard to curb his habit since the birth of his young son Logan.

But she said: ‘He also had survivor’s guilt after Matthew’s death. He said he wished it was him.’

Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley said: ‘Clearly poor Kyle did take that death of Matt very, very badly and found that something he couldn’t overcome, although the birth of his own son helped him overcome his habitual drinking. But it was just that time of year. It was such a shame.’

He concluded Kyle took his own life through suffering from long-standing depression.