A self-employed plasterer from Bromley live-streamed his own suicide last Christmas in an online chatroom where strangers insult each other, an inquest heard.

Gregory Tomkins took his own life while logged on to the controversial chatroom Apple Inc Insults.

After users first thought it was a “prank”, they quickly realised what was going on before finding his address and calling police.

Emergency services rushed to Mr Tomkins’ home in Clarendon Road, Wallington, with officers forcing their way into the property where he was found hanged in his living room.

Despite attempts to resuscitate him, the 39-year-old was pronounced dead at 4.41am on December 25, the inquest was told.

Assistant coroner for south London Dr William Dolman read out statements from emergency service staff and doctors who had seen him before he died.

He concluded Mr Tomkins, who had a history of mental health and drug problems, took his own life.

Dr Dolman said: "The case was one of the most bizarre I have heard in my experiences as Her Majesty's coroner.

"We are concerned with the events of Christmas Day 2017 when Gregory Tomkins alone in this locked flat, who had been a member of a chatroom on the internet involved with insults, was seen as he committed the act of hanging himself.

"No third party was involved with the act leading to his death and his compendious psychiatric history confirms previous attempts at self-harm on several occasions.

"Some of these accounts were fuelled by use of recreational drugs, this was not the case on December 25.

"Although cannabis was found in his urine, there was no evidence that he had taken any potent, illicit or psychoactive drugs.

"With that long history there clearly is only one verdict that can be open to the court.

"I will record the immediate cause of death was indeed hanging, my inclusion or verdict is on word, suicide.

"In this case the facts have spoken for themselves very vigorously - unusual and bizarre although they are that will complete the record of inquest.

"Perhaps the facts themselves should act as a warning people who are using recreational drugs, even those that seem to be relatively harmless."

A report prepared by a psychiatrist referred to Mr Tomkins’ psychiatric history going back to 2009, which involved visits to the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust's services.

It was heard how, in November 2016, he told his GP he had suicidal thoughts, was unhappy with himself, and felt paranoid.

That same year, there were also concerns raised by neighbours to Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake when he allegedly damaged his flat’s gas systems.

An Apple Inc Insults user, known only as Wolverine Queen, denied accusations she “invited” his suicide.

When asked by Dr Dolman about the allegation, trainee Detective Constable Joanna Collins said: “There’s been no evidence found to suggest that’s correct.”

Mr Tomkins' death is one of three high-profile cases in Britain where people have committed suicide in similar circumstances on chatrooms run by US-based service PalTalk.

Builder Leon Jenkins, 43, from Cardiff, took his own life in July this year before engineer Kevin Whitrick, 42, from Telford, died in March 2007.

If you are having suicidal thoughts and need to speak to someone, there is help available.

You can contact Samaritans' 24-hour helpline.

Call 116 123, or email jo@samaritans.org.