Widower from Eye set fire to car to take his own life, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 06:01 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 22:52 16 February 2017

Beacon House in Ipswich where the inquest was held. Picture: Jason Noble

Beacon House in Ipswich where the inquest was held. Picture: Jason Noble


An 81-year-old man who took his own life by setting his car on fire in Eye had been struggling to cope following the death of his wife two years previously, an inquest has heard.

George Haddock of Victoria Hill in Eye died on October 29 last year while in the driver’s seat of his Ford Focus which was on fire in Cranley Green Road.

Monday’s inquest at Beacon House in Ipswich heard that a motorist heading in the direction of Mr Haddock’s car stopped when he realised the car was alight and attempted to extract him, but was unable to do so because of the smoke and flames.

Emergency services attended but were unable to save Mr Haddock.

The retired builder was identified by his dental records, which had a 100% correlation with his previous dental check in 2012, the inquest heard.

A suicide note was found at his home address, written to his wife Josey, who died in March 2014.

Documentary evidence from neighbour and friend William Brightwell said he “did not have many friends,” and added that “he never seemed to get over Josey dying.”

The inquest heard that following the death of his wife, Mr Haddock lost interest in his garden and housework, and that sometimes when visiting Mr Brightwell he would appear “very down”.

The day before Mr Haddock’s death, Mr Brightwell had taken him to Ipswich Hospital following the hospital’s discovery of a gall stone two weeks prior, but Mr Brightwell recalled him returning “quiet, like he had something on his mind”.

Hearing documentary evidence from Mr Haddock’s GP, Dr Partridge at Eye Health Centre, the inquest heard that he had often voiced suicide intent since Josey’s death, but never acted on it.

Dr Partridge added that in their last meeting he seemed more cheerful and had discussed long term therapy for his type 2 diabetes.

Concluding Monday’s inquest, Suffolk assistant coroner Kevin McCarthy recorded the cause of death as extensive severe burns and smoke inhalation, and added: “He had formed the intent to do it and his actions concluded that intent. This man died of a malady – a malady of the heart. He missed his wife dearly and without her he was adrift.”

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