Man kills himself after 'racist' joke backfires
10:35 AM Monday Apr 12, 2010 Facebook
When Roy Amor, 61, saw immigration officers outside his clinic, he joked to a black colleague, who was a close friend, that he "better hide", according to the Mail on Sunday.
The black colleague was not offended, but someone in the office overhead the comment and made a formal complaint to the company, Opcare, which makes prosthetic limbs.
Mr Amor, from Lancashire in the United Kingdom, was suspended, and was said to have been devastated.
Five days later, he received an email from his bosses. Without even being able to get through the whole email, Mr Amor sent back that he could not deal with the matter because he was too upset.
He shot himself that afternoon.
"Roy made a joke along the lines that his friend had better hide in case the officers found him," a friend told the Mail on Sunday.
"It was nothing more than a good-humoured joke but apparently someone overheard it and made an official complaint because they thought it was racist.
"Roy was devastated when he was suspended and was worried he might lose his job."
Mr Amor left three suicide notes describing his despair.
His black colleague is understood to have attended Mr Amor's funeral.
Opcare's chief executive, Michael O'Byrne, confirmed that Mr Amor had been suspended over the joke. "It's an enormous tragedy and we are all in mourning. I knew Roy personally and he was an excellent technician." Asked if he had any regrets about suspending him, Mr O'Byrne replied: "I don't want to comment further."
Mr Amor had worked at the clinic for 30 years and leaves his wife of 39 years and a grown up son and daughter.