Concluding, Dr Palmer said: "I don't have clear evidence of his intentions. There was no-one else involved.
"I can't be sure beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to die by his actions. "It is distinctly possible, but that is not enough.
"There's nothing to say it was an accident and it was not natural so I will return an open verdict."Coroners will, it seems, do almost anything to avoid a verdict of suicide:
Kit-Kuen Lai, 62, was found in his bedroom in a flat above Sichuan Garden Chinese restaurant in Brighton Road, Coulsdon, with his head wrapped in cling-film on September 9, last year.
The former Balham man had bladder cancer and gambling debts.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had swallowed some bleach before he died but Dr Palmer said it was unlikely this would have been what killed him.Yes. Clearly there's room for doubt....
Still, I salute you, Mr Lai - at a time when so many suicides seem to choose the option of hurling themselves in front of Tubes or trains, thus turning the poor bloody driver into an emotional wreck and leaving a ghastly scene for the emergency services - at least your exit was thoughtful.
And nor did you feel the selfish, self-absorbed need to take four innocent lives along with you...