- Gregory Tomkins live-streamed suicide on internet chatroom on Christmas Day
- Plasterer, from south London, logged into forum where users 'abuse' each other
- The 39-year-old business owner was found dead by police just after 3am
Published: 05:21 EST, 28 December 2017 | Updated: 07:21 EST, 28 December 2017
A plasterer hanged himself live on webcam on Christmas Day after logging onto a video chatroom where people go to insult each other.
Horrified viewers frantically called 999 but had no idea where their internet acquaintance Gregory Tomkins, 39, from Wallington in Sutton, lived.
The self-employed business owner logged onto Apple Inc Insults chatroom, which is one of 5,000 forums available on video chat service Paltalk.
The forum encourages users to verbally abuse one another as much as they can.
Online contacts described Gregory as a 'lovely soul', but said the internet chatroom where you got to get insulted was 'not the place for him'.
Pictured: Gregory Tomkins posed a photo of himself online with the words 'Merry Christmas' shortly before he livestreamed his own death on an internet chatroom where users insult one another
One person known on the forum as Putin wrote: 'Gregory Tomkins was a funny man, he did a lot of funny stuff in the chat room but he also got upset a lot and would do silly things on his cam as well.
'I just think he was very lonely as he had a difficult past which he spoke about a lot.
'But he always meant well, you just were never sure what mood he was in when he entered the chat room. I do not think an insult chat room like this was the place for him.'
One user, who asked not to be named, said: 'He had come into the room on his regular screenname that he uses.
'When he actually comes in the room he is always on the microphone and he talks.
In the early hours of Christmas Day, Mr Tomkins, a self-employed plasterer in his 30s from Wallington in Sutton, south London, logged onto the chatroom and hanged himself
Tragic: Just days before Gregory took his life, he updated his biography on Facebook to read: 'JUST DO IT'
'But this time he didn't talk and he was just sitting there. After he left the room he cammed up, and that was when he did what he did.
'It took him literally 30 seconds to go from sitting down to hanging.'
The service has 6 million users worldwide. Some spoke of their shock of not being able to call the emergency services and how they desperately tried to get UK users to alert the police.
An administrator of the group also criticised the UK members who watched Gregory's death but 'did nothing'.
Going by the name of Throat Punch, he said: As an admin in the room at the time this tragedy took place, the frustration of not being able to contact police because dialling 101 or 999 from a country outside the UK became immediately apparent.
A Met Police spokesman said: 'Police were called at 3.36am on Monday, December 25, to an address in Wallington after concerns were raised for the welfare of an occupant'
He said: 'By the time it took me to get a room member from the UK to contact 999, it was way too late.
'Sitting by watching people ignore requests to call police was truly futile.'
Another chatroom called Alinity wrote: 'Yakka was a funny guy he will be sadly missed.'
A Met Police said Mr Tomkins death was not be treated as suspicious and his elderly parents have been informed of the incident.
The spokesman said: 'Police were called at 3.36am on Monday, December 25, to an address in Clarendon Road, Wallington, after concerns were raised for the welfare of an occupant.
'Officers attended. A man, believed to be in his 30s, was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.
'Next of kin are aware. The death is not being treated as suspicious.
'A file will be prepared for the coroner.'
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details
Controversial chatroom where users 'egged on father to kill himself live on webcam'
PalTalk is a video group chat service with more than 6 million members worldwide but it remains largely unknown, despite a previous tragedy in one of its forums.
In 2007, Kevin Whitrick, 42, took his life after dozens of chatroom users from across the world who initially believed he was play acting.
Pictured: Kevin Whitrick killed himself on the same forum on Paltalk in 2007
An inquest heard how Mr Whitrick was 'goaded' into killing himself, with one user telling him to '****ing do it'.
He was logged on with around 50 other users to a special 'insult' chatroom where people 'have a go at each other' and initially the members did not believe he would go through with it.
One anonymous user said at the time: 'He tied a rope around an uncovered ceiling joist and stood on the chair as he tied the rope around his neck.
'Some of us chatroom users, talking to Kevin over text chat, microphones and video tried to convince him to step down, but others egged him on telling him to get on with it.
'We just couldn't believe he was doing it – it was surreal.
'One chatter said: 'F***ing do it, get on with it, get it round your neck. For F***'s sake he can't even do this properly'.'
Another user who did not wish to be named said: 'When Kevin stepped off the chair and was left dangling, the mood in the chatroom changed and people began to realise what they had just seen.
'We started asking if anyone knew where he lived and saying they should contact the police.'
Mr Whitrick was divorced and left behind two children.
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