Tom Hayes told a court today how the rate-rigging allegations that eventually lead to his conviction caused him to suffer a breakdown, as he continued his legal battle over his assets.
Hayes, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence after being found guilty of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud for his role in manipulating Libor, has been attending a hearing at the Old Bailey since Monday to determine whether any of his belongings should be confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Items that Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader, could potentially be asked to part with include a house in Surrey valued at around £1.7m, his wedding ring and a Mercedes-Benz car. In total, the list of assets is worth over £2m.
Hayes recalled today that he was in the middle of a breakdown by January 2013, shortly after allegations started rolling in from both sides of the Atlantic. Press Association reported that Hayes told the court: "I realised the seriousness of the Department of Justice. I was terrified of those guys."
He added: "I was literally having a breakdown. I could not drive a car, look after my son, [I was] suicidal. It was a very, very difficult time of my life. Sarah [Tighe, Hayes' wife] had to go back to work. She moved back to her parents.
"Given my mental state in 2013 it's hard to give you answers: one, to remember them clearly and, two taking rational decisions."
When the prosecution asked Hayes about his feelings towards his status in the workplace, the ex-trader responded: "I was not really bothered about status. I used to turn up at work with holes in my jumper looking like a tramp. I did not hobnob."
Hayes was initially sentenced to 14 years in jail last August but this was reduced to 11 years by the Court of Appeal last December. Earlier this month, Hayes had his request to appeal to the Supreme Court blocked.
The confiscation hearing is ongoing.