Eye pensioner took his own life in burning car, inquest hears

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An Eye pensioner took his own life in a burning car because he could not face going on without his late wife, an inquest has heard.

George Haddock, 82, died in his blazing Ford Focus in Cranley Green Road, Eye on October 29 last year.

Today, the inquest held at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich, was told that Mr Haddock, of Victoria Hill, Eye, had been lonely and frequently expressed suicidal thoughts since the death of his wife in 2014.

After his death, police who went to Mr Haddock’s home found a suicide note addressed to his late wife, said Assistant Suffolk Coroner Kevin McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy said: “This man died of a malady of the heart. He missed his wife so desperately. Without her, he was adrift.”

The inquest heard that on the morning of October 29, the burning car had been discovered by Peter Hewitt who had seen “intense smoke” coming from a car beside Cranley Green Road.

In a statement, Mr Hewitt described how when he arrived at the scene he could see that the car was alight and that someone was sitting inside it.

Mr Hewitt said the vehicle was filled with smoke and flames and he managed to get the two front doors open before being beaten back.

He said: “Due to the heat and smoke I was not able to do anything else.”

Firefighters arrived and put out the blaze and Mr Haddock’s charred body was recovered.

Mr Haddock had to be identified through dental records and a post mortem examination concluded that he had died as a result of severe burns and smoke inhalation.

The inquest heard that neighbour William Brightwell had seen Mr Haddock two or three times a week following the death of Mrs Haddock.

Mr Brightell said in a statement that Mr Haddock had been very lonely and lived an isolated life.

Following the death of his wife, Mr Haddock had said to Mr Brightwell: “I just don’t know how I’m going to keep living in that house alone.”

Assistant Coroner Mr McCarthy said Mr Haddock’s GP had reported that Mr Haddock, who suffered from a number of health issues, had frequently spoken of taking his own life.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Mr McCarthy said: “George Haddock formed the intention to die and his actions confirmed that.”