10:32am Thursday 1st March 2012
Purley chef Kevin Boyle ordered an internet suicide kit which was delivered on the day he disappeared, his mother has revealed.
The 26-year-old of Old Lodge Lane went missing last October and his body was found on January 23, at the bottom of a Coulsdon garden bordering Farthing Downs.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, his mum Patti, 54, revealed a brown package arrived for her son on October 12.
Having hacked into Kevin's email account, his dad Tom, 64, discovered Kevin had paid £44 for a suicide kit from a company that promised painless 'deliverance.'
Describing the package as 'death in a bag' Mrs Boyle said: "To lose your child is the worst thing that can happen for a mother.
"But to think that Kevin might have ended his own life in this calculated manner, assisted by some faceless person who is still out there walking around, is simply horrific."
At just 16, Kevin became the youngest of Jamie Oliver's apprentices at his restaurant Fifteen.
He beat 1,500 competitors to make the final 30 on Channel 4's show Jamie's Kitchen in 2002.
On the day he vanished, Kevin posted over 20 goodbye letters to close family and friends which arrived after his death, with more letters found in bag next to his body.
The letter to his parents arrived six days after he disappeared.
Mrs Boyle said: "Reading that letter, his last sacred words to us, I knew instantly that our son was dead and we'd never see him again.
"Yet some part of me couldn't give up all hope. I kept telling myself that maybe he'd been pulled back from the brink; maybe there was the smallest chance he might still come home."
At his funeral Mrs Boyle spoke of combating the stigma attached to depression, the biggest killer in young men.
She said Kevin, who had suffered from the depression for years, often hid his feelings well from his friends.
It was aged 15, while drunk that Kevin broke down to a friend claiming he had been abused between the ages of four and seven.
But no charges were ever brought against Kevin's alleged abuser, the teenage son of a family friend.
Mrs Boyle said: "No matter how well Kevin did, no matter what he achieved, it all came back to the question: Why did this person hate me so much that he did this to me?
"I had really hoped Jamie's Kitchen might be a turning point for Kevin and there would be periods where euphoria would carry him along, but then the cycle of depression would start again."
Mrs Boyle said Kevin tried a number of times to end his life, with some attempts more serious than others.
Remembering her pride at seeing Kevin stood next to Jamie Oliver at a tasting at Fifteen she said: "I was bursting with pride to see my son standing next to him.
"And if it hadn't been for Fifteen, I think we might have lost Kevin much sooner. Instead we had an extra ten years with our son for which I will always be thankful."
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group