Inquest hears inventor was due to be evicted

Peter Williams Credit: Williams family

An inquest has opened into the death of a inventor who killed himself after falling into debt.

Peter Williams, who was 63, is in the Guinness Book of Records after creating the world's most energy efficient hand dryer.

He was about to be evicted from his home at Langford in Bedfordshire for failing to pay his council tax.

The inquest heard he threw himself in front of a train on the day he was due to be evicted from his home for not paying his council tax.

He had been made bankrupt by his local council, who had been pursuing him for tax arrears since the mid 1990's.

He had owed just £1,350 but at the time he killed himself he owed £70,000, including legal fees.

The family of Mr Williams, who are represented at the five day inquest in Dunstable by Mike O'Brien QC, claim Central Bedfordshire Council hounded him to death.

The council say they had made repeated attempts to come to an agreement with Mr Williams about how to repay the arrears, saying that although he was a recluse he had no concerns for Mr Williams' mental stability.

The council say over the last ten years they had tried to give Mr Williams every opportunity to pay.