AN ANTIQUES dealer created an elaborate killing machine to shoot himself in the head because the only gun he could find was too long. William Everett, 55, had become depressed after his health deteriorated and eventually decided to kill himself to end his pain, Leeds Coroners Court heard yesterday. Joanne Ginley
But the only gun he had was a shotgun and he was unable to reach the trigger so the father-of-two, described by his ex-wife Margaret as "intelligent and resourceful", created a device using a hammer and bradawl – a small, sharp woodwork tool for making holes – to fire a bullet into his temple.
His body was found slumped in a chair at his home in Woodbridge Lawn, Kirkstall, Leeds, in February by his best friend, who had called round to see if he wanted anything from the shop, the inquest heard.
In a statement Mrs Everett said the pair had been married for 11 years but they separated in 1982 due to Mr Everett's addiction to heroin.
The inquest heard that Mr Everett had suffered from depression for a long time and despite repeated offers by his GP to get him counselling he had refused any medical help apart from tablets.
By the side of his body police discovered a shotgun, which he had clamped to a bookcase in his lounge next to a chair, and a handwritten letter saying he planned to kill himself.
David Butler, who discovered his friend's body, said in a statement: "At 11.30 on February 3 I called round to see if he needed any shopping. I unlocked the back door using my key and saw him sat in the chair in the lounge.
"I thought he was asleep and tried to rouse him and then I realised he was cold and stiff. By his side I noticed a makeshift gun with his head resting against the barrel."
The father-of-two, who lived alone, had attached the bradawl to the shotgun's trigger. He had then used the hammer to hit the bradawl and activate the trigger.
His medical records revealed he had been suffering from lung and heart problems as well as Hepatitis C.
Assistant Deputy Coroner Mary Burke recorded a verdict of suicide.