The family of a farmer who took his own life have vowed “not to shy away" from conversations surrounding suicide, a court has heard. 

It comes following the death of south Norfolk farmer, Colin Alexander, 73, who was found with a shotgun wound earlier this year. 

Speaking at the inquest, his son, Robert Alexander, addressed the area coroner, Samantha Goward. 

He said: “[A conclusion of suicide] is not something that offends us. 

“We've not shied away in our conversations with others of the fact of suicide and have tried to use it to encourage others to talk.” 

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard evidence that concerns for Mr Alexander’s welfare were raised on the afternoon of Friday, June 2.

He had failed to return home to Bush Green Farm at Pulham Market, near Diss, and his wife, Audrey, found his wedding ring threaded through a chain left on top of a chest of drawers. 

Speaking to Ms Goward, Robert added: “The chain through the ring for us was the [suicide] note. 

“That indicated his intent. He never took those off.” 

Mr Alexander's family were able to track his location using a phone-finding app, and he was found deceased inside a farm buggy in a field off Ipswich Road, near Long Stratton

A police statement read in court said how Mr Alexander's family described him as “a glass half-empty type person who would often keep issues to himself rather than face them”.

It added that his wife had been “left devastated” by her husband’s death and, despite any issues, “they were very devoted to each other.” 

Mr Alexander suffered from an episode of severe depression in September 1997 and underwent rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, which continued after discharge. 

Despite a previous history of mental ill health, he had been “his usual self” on the morning of his death and had not shown any signs of suicidal intent.

A post-mortem examination revealed the medical cause of death was because of a firearm injury.

A toxicology report showed alcohol drank before his death would have impaired cognitive behaviour and motor function. 

Ms Goward recorded a conclusion of suicide.

  • Contact the YANA: You Are Not Alone helpline on 0300 323 0400 or email