A HAMPSHIRE man set fire to himself after splitting with his girlfriend, an inquest heard.

Nick Davies had been in a relationship with Ami Nahal for eight months when she dumped him in February this year.

But an inquest on Wednesday (July 24) heard that she kept the affair hidden from her parents, who were described as “traditional Sikhs”.

Ms Nahal, of Donnington Crescent, Chandler’s Ford, told the hearing her parents only became aware of the relationship after Mr Davies, 43, parked his van in front of the family home and set fire to himself.

She said: “They became aware of it on the day of Nick’s death.

“I heard a loud bang. I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window and then called the fire brigade.

“I saw a white van and flames coming out. I ran back upstairs and looked out of my parents’ window – that’s when I recognised the van.”

Ms Nahal told the court she had tried to break off her relationship with Mr Davies on several occasions.

But Mr Davies’ mother, Tina, of Monk’s Way, Eastleigh, said Ms Nahal had placed her son under too much pressure.

“She bled him dry – financially and emotionally.

“Nick was a strong man but it did not fit in that he was like a puppet for her.

“We feel like we’re dead ourselves now.”

Ms Nahal’s told the court she had worked for an insurance company, but Davies’ mother said the family had suspicions about her income.

“My husband thought she was a prostitute and so did Nick’s best friend. All his friends and family tried to talk him out of being with her.”

Ms Nahal denied taking advantage of the father-of-two, and was backed up in her claim by Mr Davies’ friend of 40 years, David Murtagh.

Shortly before the blaze began, Davies a left voicemail for Mr Murtagh to say who he wanted to carry his coffin.

Recording a verdict of suicide, deputy Coroner for Central Hampshire, Simon Burge, said: “What he did was an appalling act of self-destruction and it’s left to members of the family to deal with that.

“I’m satisfied that the relationship had caused him a great deal of pressure and that he was finding it difficult to sustain the relationship because of the demands that it had placed on him and he simply couldn’t cope.”