A man who came to the UK to find a better life hanged himself from a tree after becoming a victim of a human trafficking gang.
Bradford Coroners Court this week heard that Viktor Fejes was put to work in bed warehouses in the Batley area for very little pay and became withdrawn from people around him.
Deputy Coroner Dominic Bell said his case was “a most saddening tale”.
A statement from Mr Fejes’ friend, Zslot Szenti, said the pair were put to work in warehouses run by bed companies Deepsleep and Dreams by a gangmaster who they knew as “Kacsa”.
Kacsa, which means duck in Hungarian, was an alias of gangmaster Janos Orsos. He was jailed for five years in May for his role in a human trafficking operation in Kirklees.
Mr Szenti said Mr Fejes, of Hawthorn Avenue, Staincliffe, used cannbis and legal highs during his time working under the gangmaster, and became distant in the months leading up to his death.
“He turned in to himself,” he said. “Viktor didn’t mind so much because he drank alcohol and smoked weed. He said he would never kill himself, even if he was in prison.”
The inquest heard 28-year-old Mr Fejes was moved away from the gang to Newcastle at the time of Orsos’ conviction, but later returned to Batley to work.
He lost his job on October 20 and feared that he would become homeless.
The coroner heard Mr Fejes spoke to his mother on October 22 and was found hanging from a tree in Dark Lane, Batley, the next morning.
Dr Bell recorded a verdict of suicide by hanging.
He said the time of night that Mr Fejes went to Dark Lane would have ensured no passers-by were able to help him.
“My condolences go to the family, who have lost their relative in such tragic circumstances,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Dreams, whose headquarters is in High Wycombe, said that Mr Fejes had no connection to the company and was not on their records.
Nobody at Deepsleep was available for comment.