A CORONER and senior detective have urged the public to hand in firearms to the police following the death of a father-of-two who shot himself.
Mr David Read (65) was found dead on his bed at home in Clevelands Avenue on August 26th last year with a handgun on his chest.
Mr Read had died from a single gunshot wound to the head from an Enfield .38 revolver which belonged to his late father-in-law.
Following an inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court, East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor and Det. Insp Dave Groombridge, of Burnley CID, expressed concern that similar guns could be laying in people’s homes in Burnley.
Mr Read’s wife of 31 years, Constance, told the hearing her husband had become depressed in recent months after being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
She said: “My father died in 1987 and left behind a rifle, a Beretta and a revolver.
“My husband didn’t show any interest in the guns which had been registered in my father’s name who was a gun club member. David hadn’t worked for 20 years due to a degenerative condition but had become depressed from June last year because of the unpleasant side-effects from his tablets for the IBS. He had also lost weight.”
Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud, who conducted the post-mortem, said the bullet had entered the left side of Mr Read’s head and exited the other side.
Mr Taylor recorded a verdict Mr Read took his own life.
Det. Insp. Groombridge, said: “The number of firearms held by people who may have chanced upon them during house clearances or keeping them as collectables or heirlooms in unknown. While any such weapons may not be intended for criminal activities their mere existence renders the holder extremely vulnerable and presents a danger to the public. This case has tragically highlighted the dangers inherent with illegal possession of firearms and I would urge anyone in possession of one to contact the police, primarily by telephone, and we will collect and safely dispose of it.”