Metro taxi driver 'seemed his normal happy self' before hanging himself at Barrow Bridge

Police at Barrow Bridge, where Asif Policewala hanged himself

Police at Barrow Bridge, where Asif Policewala hanged himself

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A TAXI driver found hanging from Barrow Bridge took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

The body of father-of-two Asif Policewala, aged 38, was found at the beauty spot, off Barrow Bridge Road, by a passer-by just after 7am on Wednesday, March 12.

Bolton Coroners Court heard the death of Mr Policewala, a Metro Cars driver, came as a shock to his family who had no idea of his intentions.

Salma Patel, Mr Policewala’s sister, said: “This is such a shock to us. It is just unbelievable that he has done that without any indication whatsoever.”

She added: “There was no indication he was feeling down. He was his usual happy self. He made no contact.”

Statements read by coroner Alan Walsh revealed Mr Policewala had made two previous suicide attempts.

He took an overdose in 2007 and in 2012 he raised alarm with friends after attempting to gas himself at Rivington Reservoir.

A statement by Dr Eve Howarth, a general practitioner at Lever Chambers in Ashburner Street, Bolton, said Mr Policewala did not suffer from mental health illness and his suicide attempt two years ago was down to pressure he felt to pay money back due to gambling debts.

Stephen Matthews was driving with Emma, his wife, when he spotted the silver Vauxhall Astra parked on the bridge with a window down. He then made the grim discovery and called 999.

The court heard Mr Policewala, of Keats Walk, Halliwell, was married to Madija Policewala, who he had a teenage son and daughter with. He lived separately from his wife but they were in a relationship.

On March 11 — the day before his body was found — he spent time at the family home in Boundary Gardens, Halliwell, and left about 7.30pm, saying he was going to work.

The court heard he had not worked since March 9.

A receipt was found in his car for two ropes, but no evidence of debts could be found. Police found no evidence of any foul play.

Pathologist Dr Emil Salmo, at Royal Bolton Hospital, found traces of cocaine in Mr Policewala’s body but not enough to cause an overdose. He found his cause of death to be hanging.

Mr Walsh recorded a verdict of suicide.

He said: “Mr Policewala was a private person but on the other hand was jovial in personality and was very jokey and happy.

"He was a chameleon character — jovial but would have dark moments which he had suffered in the past.”

He added: “I’m sure he intended to take his own life. I can’t find the reasons and don’t know the reasons and probably nobody knows the reasons.”

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