Soldier took his own life after depression triggered by carbon monoxide leak in tank, inquest hears

Michael Miah
Michael Miah

A British Army soldier hanged himself after spiralling into depression and splitting from his wife following a carbon monoxide leak in his tank, an inquest heard.

Lance Corporal of Horse, Michael Miah, of the Household Cavalry became a “recluse” following the incident in which he was forced to jump from the armoured vehicle before vomiting and passing out during an exercise in Canada.

The once “happy” and “sociable’’ 28-year-old - who grew up in Wordsley in the West Midlands - suffered panic attacks and regularly relived his traumatic ordeal which occurred in 2017 while driving military vehicles, a coroner was told.

His relationship with his wife of six years, Jessica, broke down after the incident and the couple divorced in December 2021.

LCoH Miah - who joined the Army in 2013 - was found hanged in his garage two days later at Bulford army camp in Wiltshire.

In a written statement read to Salisbury Coroner’s Court, Mrs Miah said that her husband, with whom she had been childhood friends, changed following the accident.

She said: “[He] had an accident in a tank that was leaking carbon monoxide. He suffered from depression ever since.

“Before that he was a caring person and very social. After the accident he became a recluse, he did not want to go out and locked himself in the house.

“He spent the majority of his time gaming. [He was told by the Army] that if he did not show improvement by a certain date then they would be pushing for a medical discharge.

“We started having arguments.”

Lance Corporal of Horse Michael Miah
Lance Corporal of Horse Michael Miah

LCoH Miah’s medical notes, read to the court, revealed that the soldier had suffered from panic attacks since the accident and “relived” the experience when driving military vehicles.

The inquest heard that he had been “determined to make his marriage work”, but Mrs Miah decided to leave him in December 2021, leaving him a note before she left the home they shared.

He sent his wife a WhatsApp message asking her to return, but she did not reply, the inquest heard.

When Mrs Miah noticed that her husband had not been active on the messaging app for a few days, she contacted Army welfare officers who later discovered the soldier’s body in his garage.

An Army representative told the inquest that they had never been aware of LCoH Miah suffering from any kind of mental health problems.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Gilham, told the inquest the soldier had appeared to be “entirely happy” but was aware he had problems with his marriage.

Lt Col Gilham said: “[LCoH Miah] had discussed his marriage problems openly with chain of command.

“We gave him time off to work on his relationship... we had no knowledge of mental health problems.

“He appeared entirely happy and just wanted to focus on fixing his marriage.

“[After his accident] we recommended that he should be retained [with the regiment] because of what a good soldier he was.”

Lt Col Gilham told LCoH Miah’s family that the Household Cavalry would ”always be here for you”.

Area Coroner for Wiltshire, Ian Singleton, said: “Following a break up in his marriage, Michael Miah entered a garage where he voluntarily placed a ligature around his neck.

“He was found hanged on 15 December 2021.”

Mr Singleton recorded a verdict of suicide.