A 49-year-old man used gas to take his own life after researching how to do it on the internet, an inquest has heard.
Robert Stannard, of Mill Lane, Teignmouth, was found dead in his garden shed on May 9 last year, by his wife and son who had been looking for him.
An inquest in Torquay on Thursday heard that Mr Stannard, who suffered with depression, had been ‘very determined’ to end his life and had left a suicide note at the scene.
His son, Daryl, said in a statement that the shed was locked from the inside and his mother thought she could see him inside. He said: “I saw Dad and immediately thought he looked dead. I told Mum to go back into the house. I followed and rang 999.”
Special constable Adam Bayliss said he used force on the door to gain entry to the shed. His colleague checked for signs of life and stated Mr Stannard was not breathing and she could not locate a pulse. The ambulance service arrived and confirmed that Mr Stannard was dead. The fire service also attended to ensure the scene was safe from the hazards of the gas canister.
Detective constable Timothy Lavercombe, who attended the inquest in person, confirmed that a suicide note was found at the scene, along with a receipt for the gas canister, some other items and a sheet obtained from the internet which gave ‘a guide to how to kill yourself in this way’.
Det Con Lavercombe, who said he had more than 20 years’ experience, said: “I formed a view Robert had taken his own life. He had done quite a lot of planning around that. He bolted the shed from the inside so my view was it was the outcome he was very determined to achieve.”
Coroner Ian Arrow said the gas had come from a reputable welding specialist company. Mr Arrow said: “He has ordered this bottle for himself and carried out research so he knew how to use that gas. He took it to his shed and locked himself in and has been quite determined in ending his own life.”
He recorded the medical cause of death as suffocation and gas inhalation.
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