A vegan chef died from suspension by ligature after dealing with the stress of running a restaurant, an inquest has heard.
Antonio Rucco, from Puglia in Italy, ran Antonio's Vegan Kitchen in Bethnal Green - previously Piadima Genuina in Hackney Wick.
An inquest into his death was told that Rucco's girlfriend found him hanged in his restaurant. He was still alive and was rushed to hospital on February 12, but died some hours later from 'catastrophic brain injuries'.
'Can't give a suicide verdict'
"The tragic thing was that he was found by his partner, who raised the alarm straight away after cutting him down," Assistant Coroner William Dolman said, as reported by Metro UK.
"He was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I can't give a suicide verdict there is no evidence of his state of mind.
"The cause of death was given as suspension by ligature. On this occasion I agree with the pathologist, I will record the medical cause of death as suspension by ligature."
Announcing the Rucco's death earlier this year, a statement was posted on the restaurant's social media, saying: "It is with great sadness that we must announce our chef and owner passed away. The restaurant will be closed permanently and we thank you for your love and support at this time."
The news was met with condolences from many of Rucco's supporters and followers, with one saying: "I'm totally saddened by this news. RIP Antonio."
Another added: "So sorry to hear of this. Thoughts are with you."
If you feel you need support, call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123 (in the UK) or visit the Samaritans website.
In the USA, call (877) 870-HOPE (4673) or Text 24/7, or visit the Samaritans website.