A CASH-STRAPPED businessman was found hanged after his shop’s electricity supply was cut off, an inquest has heard.

British Gas officials who visited Anthony Water’s mini-mart in Little Horton on Tuesday were so worried about how he reacted to having his supply stopped that they contacted police.

Officers then went to Water’s Mini-Mart, in Park Road, to check on Mr Waters - when they could not find him they searched a property next door, which they believed was also owned by him.

It was there that they found him hanging.

Yesterday's inquest at Bradford Coroner's Court heard how 48-year-old Mr Waters who lived in Long Lane, Allerton, and was a single man, had been experiencing financial difficulties.

Outlining what happened, assistant Bradford coroner Mary Burke said on July 22 three employees from British Gas went to the shop to address issues over an outstanding debt.

“Mr Water’s said he was not in a position to settle the debt to British Gas and steps were taken at the property where he was to disconnect the electricity supply.

“After the supply was terminated Mr Water’s appeared to be anxious and made various threats that he may harm himself,” she said.

When the Gas officials got back to work, the police were informed.

The inquest was adjourned for more reports.

Tim Cowen from British Gas Business said: “We are very saddened by this. We extend our sympathies to the family.

The matter is in the hands of the relevant authorities, so we won’t be commenting further.”

Disconnection by British Gas is always a last resort and usually follows a protracted period of attempts to resolve the issue, its officers are also trained to alert the police if they believe a customer may be at risk.

The company also works with organisations like Business Debtline, which is part of the Money Advice Trust, to offer specialist help when it is needed most.