Inquest rules man’s death was suicide

17:22 03 December 2012

A Topsham man who hanged himself left money for his friends to have a drink on him after he was gone, an inquest has heard.

John Stark, who was 73, and lived in Newcourt Road, was last seen by his friends at the Bridge Inn on June 11 this year.

The inquest at County Hall heard that Mr Stark, a retired manager, had ‘not seemed himself’ that evening, and had appeared distant and slurring his words.

The next day a friend was unable to contact Mr Stark, and went to his house.

He found the front door unlocked, and found Mr Stark hanged in the loft.

Police attended the scene, and found letters addressed to Mr Stark’s family and friends, which indicated that he had planned to kill himself, and had left money to buy his friends a drink.

The inquest was told that Mr Stark had been left feeling lonely by the recent death of his wife, and also the death of his sister-in-law.

Despite this, there had been no indication he intended to take his own life.

Assistant deputy coroner for Exeter Andrew Cox said he accepted that Mr Stark’s feelings after the loss of his wife and sister in law had led him to kill himself, and returned a verdict of suicide.

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