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Farmer shot himself after father’s death
5:30pm Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
A MORETON man was so devastated by his father’s death that he shot himself three days later, an inquest heard.
Melville Walton died on May 29 and his son Philip, who helped him run the family farm, was found dead with a single shotgun wound on June 1.
Both men lived at Upper Woodhills Farm, near Moreton, and ran the business together, Gloucestershire assistant deputy coroner Katy Skerrett was told.
In a statement, Melville’s widow Rosalind told the inquest at Gloucester Coroners Court that their other son David had been brain damaged in his early life.
She said: “Philip was always there for his father.
He (Melville) came home for lunch and sat down to have a cup of tea, but then Philip shouted that he had fainted again. He started pumping his heart while I phoned for an ambulance. The paramedics carried on with CPR when they arrived but they told us he had died.”
On June 1, Philip was also found dead, she said. He was very close to his dad and would have had to take over all the work on the farm as well as helping care for his brother David.
“This, together with his grief was what caused his death,” she added.
Pathologist Dr John McCarthy said that under microscope he found that Mr Walton’s heart had been damaged by high blood pressure.
Three days after Mr Walton’s death, his daughter Daphne could not find her brother Philip and went looking for him. She found Philip lying in woodland on the edge of the garden with a shotgun by his side.
Summing up, Mrs Skerrett said Melville Walton had died from natural causes and recorded a verdict that Philip Walton intended to take his own life.