TWIN brothers estranged for more than two decades after a row over pizza tragically took their own lives in the same way, just months apart.

Identical twins David and Paul Mann were both found hanged in their own homes earlier this year, within three months of each other.

An inquest into their deaths, aged 55, revealed the pair were both going through marital problems and both suffered with mental health issues.

Recording their deaths as suicides, assistant coroner Simon Burge described the family's loss as a "double tragedy".

Their devastated father, Tony Mann, said the death of his sons, his only two children, had left him feeling "shocked and alone".

The retired factory worker, 79, said the twins had not spoken in more than twenty years, after a fight over a takeaway on a stag night.

However he said the pair would often ask about each other through family members, despite never overcoming their differences.

Paying tribute, Tony, who lives with wife Edna in Freemantle, said: "They were my sons and now they are gone.

"I've got my wife and my family but I feel like I'm alone.

"They were inseparable when they were younger, David would always push-on and fall down and Paul would be there to pick him up.

"It's a shame they couldn't sort things out, but they were both stubborn."

He described David, a father-of-three, as hard-working and a talented builder and Paul, a father-of-two as a people person and "a best friend".

During a back-to-back hearing at Winchester Coroner's Court on Tuesday, Mr Burge was told how David was found hanged in his Fair Oak home on May 14 this year.

The body of twin brother Paul, who lived in Shirley, was discovered by Mr Mann senior less than three months later on August 17.

An inquest into David's death found the father-of-three had a long history of mental illness.

The court heard how the self-employed builder had suffered depression in 2005 following a run-in with Inland Revenue over an £80,000 tax bill.

Family members revealed how the incident, which was later resolved, led to David spiralling into depression and paranoia.

This later developed into a ten year feud with neighbours in Mitchell Drive and an increasingly depressive state.

His declining mental health put strain on his marriage to wife of more than 30 years, Amanda, leading to an assault in November 2016.

Amanda left the family home, but returned after David attempted to overdose on prescription medication.

A further assault in April this year caused Amanda to leave David for good.

He was subsequently arrested and detained under the mental health act and taken to Huntercombe, in Roehampton.

Physiologists deemed David a "high risk" due to his numerous threats to hang himself.

But after 20 days, and against staff's recommendation, an independent tribunal, assessing an appeal against his detention ordered for David be released.

Huntercombe lead psychiatrist, doctor Mike Alcock, called the decision a "surprise", but admitted David had begun to respond to anti-psychotic and anti-depressive treatment.

He subsequently returned home on the evening of May 11.

The 55-year-old was found dead in his home by police officers three days later after family members raised concerns.

Officers found no suicide note, but discovered David had researched self-harm methods on the internet in the days leading up to his death.

Mr Burge said it was clear that David "intended to take his own life."

The coroner then moved on to the death of twin brother Paul, who lived in Branksome Avenue, Shirley.

The court heard how, like his twin, Paul was also suffering the breakdown of his marriage, and had lost his job, working as a lorry driver.

He had also become depressed over the loss of contact with his son, and although estranged from David, had been impacted by his death.

Paul was found hanged on the morning of August 17 by his father, who had visited his home after becoming increasingly concerned for his son's welfare.

Police discovered a makeshift will inside Paul's home and a message to family and friends in which he apologised for "not being able to carry on".

Mr Burge similarly ruled Paul's death as a suicide.

In an emotional conclusion, the coroner said: "This is a double tragedy – both boys having died within a few months of each other, both at their own homes.

"This must be an appalling situation for the family.

"I know nothing I can say will bring them back.

"The best thing you can do is care and support for each other as you grieve the loss of these two men."


One person to comment on the case, was Dr Nick Maguire, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Southampton.

Doctor Maguire, who specialises in mental health, said: "There is a little evidence that suggests that twins are less likely to commit suicide because they have each other and that closeness seems to have an impact.

"But I think there is a dangerous overestimation of the links between twins – you see lots of media stories about twins doing the same thing, but you don't see many about them doing different things."

Doctor Maguire added that although twins share the same genetic makeup, they experience things differently due to different environmental pressures.

He said: "Heritability in mental health terms tends to be overestimated.

"It is slightly higher than in non-identical twins, but not as high as sometimes reported.

"Genes do play a role but not as big a role as our environments and the people around us do."


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