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‘Larger than life’ farmer died after taking poison

PUBLISHED: 14:44 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 23 March 2018

John Goucher, who died in West Suffolk Hospital after taking poison he later regretted. Picture: FAMILY

John Goucher, who died in West Suffolk Hospital after taking poison he later regretted. Picture: FAMILY

Archant

A “big-hearted” farmer died after taking poison, which he later regretted, following the death of a friend, an inquest heard.

John Goucher, 46, was found by his parents in the cattle field of their Thetford farm after taking poison pellets on August 10, 2017.

During Wednesday’s inquest into Mr Goucher’s death, coroner Kevin McCarthy read a statement from his mother, Diana Goucher, who described her son’s pain. “Cuddle me mum, I love you,” Mr Goucher told his mother. “Don’t leave me.”

Mr Goucher was said to have been at a “low ebb” on the morning he took the poison, following the recent loss of a friend in a motorbike crash. Mrs Goucher’s statement describes seeing her son looking “tired and weary” before he left for the cattle field where he took the poison.

Soon after taking the pellets, however, the inquest heard Mr Goucher realised “it wasn’t a good idea”. He called his family for help and his mother found him in the field where she realised “something was very wrong”.

Mr Goucher was taken by ambulance to West Suffolk Hospital, suffering with “severe abdominal pain”. His blood pressure was said to have become “unrecordable”, his heart failed and despite receiving CPR, Mr Goucher died that afternoon.

Mr McCarthy said the medics had done “everything they could”. His brother Thomas described how the family received many condolences, including from a teacher who said Mr Goucher had been one of his favourite students.

Although, Mr Goucher was said to have suffered with depression most of his life, he was also sociable and liked dressing in “dazzling outfits”. He was unmarried with no children but was said to have been a good uncle to his nieces and nephews.

Mr McCarthy describing a picture of Mr Goucher in a “fancy waistcoat” said he looked like a “larger than life character”.

The coroner concluded that Mr Goucher did not want to die. Recording a narrative verdict, he said: “Although he took the three pellets deliberately it’s clear that he did not want to die and his death was of misadventure.”

Mr Goucher’s family said in a statement: “John was a very loving son, brother and uncle, and we are all devastated by his death.

“He was very big-hearted and cared deeply about his friends.

“He loved the farm and was very committed to wildlife and conservation.”


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