The family of a 27-year-old who took his own life say he was "set on a tragic path" after his mother became embroiled in the Horizon Post Office scandal.

Relatives of Bradley Peace told an inquest into his death that he had a happy, stable early childhood growing up in Somerleyton post office, where his mother was the postmistress.

But they said this all changed after she became caught up in the scandal, which saw innocent subpostmasters blamed and prosecuted for shortfalls in their accounts, but which was caused by faulty IT software.

The family were forced to leave their home, move to a new area and struggle with their finances, while Mr Peace’s mother also suffered from mental health problems.

Mr Peace died last August at the James Paget Hospital, two days after he was found hanging in his garden in Beccles.

His brother Michael told the inquest: "The direction of his life took a turn for the worse at the age of four when our mother lost the post office and family home due to the Horizon scandal.

“This pivotal moment marked the beginning of a tumultuous journey for Bradley as our family underwent a significant upheaval.” 

Mr Grapes explained how as a result, the family disbanded with Mr Peace’s parents separating and his older siblings leaving the family home. 

He added: “The loss of our family home and Bradley’s reaction to a new area were compounded by financial struggles and our mother’s battle with mental health issues. 

“This left Bradley feeling abandoned and struggling to feel accepted. 

“He would become troubled and a shadow of himself, setting him on an entirely different path to the one he was born into.

“In addition to the family challenges, Bradley faced adversity with issues related to [another family member] and some physical abuse in childhood. 

"That experience deeply affected Bradley and his ongoing battle with mental health persisted.” 

As a result, the court heard how Mr Peace turned to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to “escape his memories”. 

At the time of his death, Mr Peace was also grieving the death of his mother, who died from cancer around five months previously. 

Senior coroner Nigel Parsley said: “Bradley’s [substance abuse] relates back to things that happened when he was a child and into young adulthood. 

“And in some respects, his loved ones were left to cope with the effects that it caused – you simply didn't know how to fix him.   

“[His family] all clearly loved him. However much support they all tried to give him – in Bradley’s case it was never enough and that’s the sad truth.” 

Mr Parsley recorded a narrative conclusion and said: “Bradley died as a result of suspension of ligature around his neck while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine metabolites.” 


Bardley Peace was born on May 20, 1996, and had four sisters and an older brother. He had been in a relationship with Laura Harman and working as a labourer at the time of his death. 

Paying tribute, Ms Harman said: “He was a beautiful soul, loving, kind, and an attentive partner. 

“He had many friends and wherever we went he would bring a smile to the faces of those around him. 

“He sought solace in friendships as he got older.” 

She added that he “found peace in the outdoors”, was passionate about music and had a contagious laugh. 

His siblings, Nikki, Jill, Hetty, Christiana and Michael, also paid tribute to him.

They said: “He was a much-loved partner, uncle and friend, who will be forever loved and missed by all his family and friends. 

“Bradley’s family decided to allow his organs to be donated. They hope that within this heartbreaking situation there can be some light placed into families that truly need it. 

“All of Bradley’s mates and family would encourage anyone who is struggling with mental health or considering suicide to reach out to someone they love as it’s never the only option. 

“Whatever you're going through, there are people you can talk to any time.” 

The siblings now all wear a golden heart medal in his honour. 

Mr Grapes added: “Bradley's memory with endure through his siblings and the lives he influenced positively. 

“We implore anyone grappling with thoughts of suicide to recognised alternatives exist and the pain left behind is immeasurable. 

“Regardless of the circumstances there is always another option.” 

A Go Fund Me page went on to raise £2,490 in his memory, which was subsequently donated to several charities reflecting Mr Peace’s hobbies and ambitions. 

The remaining funds have been utilised to procure a trophy named The Bradley Peace Cup, which will be contested annually between Sandbach Rugby Club and LooseHeadz. 

  • Do you need support? Samaritans can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123. The NHS First Response Service can be reached on 111 selecting option 2.   
  • To pay tribute to a loved one, email    
  • To read all obituaries and tributes join the Facebook group Loved & Lost