AUDI has released a statement after an inquest heard how employees bullied a co-worker who later committed suicide. 

George Cheese, formerly of Kingfisher Drive, pursued a career as an engineer with the Armed Forces before suffering a stress fracture in both of his legs.

The 18-year-old agreed to a three-year apprenticeship with the Audi garage in Reading and documented a series of incidents on his iPhone, including being locked in a cage and being made to walk a mile to work after his colleagues left him in the rain.

After having a breakdown at college and another while on a First Aid course, Mr Cheese was given anti-depressant medication, but a post-mortem determined he had not been taking the tablets for at least a fortnight before he died.

He punched a wall when he discovered his former partner Chloe had a new boyfriend and he sent her a message before he died to tell her he had had enough.

On April 9 2015, when George Cheese had worked for Audi for more than six months he was seen leaving the family home.

Keith Cheese, his father, told the inquest he and his wife Purdy heard ambulance sirens in front of their home shortly after.

They rushed outside to find their son had hanged himself from a tree, close to a public footpath.

Peter Beford, senior coroner for Berkshire, recorded a verdict of suicide.

He added: "There was a spectrum of reasons behind George's tragic actions. I refuse to record that negligence, on the part of the Audi garage, was to blame and likewise the mental health team dealing with his case had no reason to believe he presented an immediate risk.

"What is clear to me is that George was a young man who was suffering with a wide range of problems and the accumulation of his ill-health, the breakdown of the relationship with Chloe, his discharge from the army and his inability to cope with the constant pranks at work combined to cause his death."

Audi has this evening issued a statement in light of the inquest. It reads as follows: 

At Audi UK, we remain deeply saddened by the tragic death of George Cheese in 2015 and wish to reiterate our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

The inquest heard very personal and painful accounts of events leading to George’s death encompassing all aspects of his life, including his time working for Sytner at its dealership in Reading. We are very sorry for the huge loss felt by all those so tragically affected.

The inquest concluded that a number of factors contributed to George’s death. However, we want to make it clear that both Audi UK and Sytner absolutely condemn any behaviour which is detrimental to the well-being of employees in any of our franchises.