'Devastated' milkman took his own life after the death of beloved wife
A MILKMAN took his own life because he was "filled with devastation" following the death of his wife, an inquest heard.
Robert Beastall, who lost his wife, Patricia, in February last year, shot himself at his home in Ripley.
At the inquest, held at Derby Coroner's Court, his mother-in-law, Dora Bowyer, said in the week before his death Mr Beastall had seemed "devastated".
She said: "He was crying all the time, just sobbing. All he wanted was to die.
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"But he said not to worry because he wasn't brave enough to do it to himself."
The court also heard that Mr Beastall, 57, was a fan of clay-pigeon shooting and had a large collection of guns in his property.
PC Spencer Pugh, who attended the scene of Mr Beastall's death at his home in Kepple Gate, Ripley, said the police had been unable to gain access to the room in which he was found.
He told the court that on May 22 last year, at about 2am, police attended the house after reports that Mr Beastall was blocking a bedroom door.
PC Pugh said: "Two of his employees went to his house to pick up some paperwork.
"They believed Robert was behind a door and was not responding. They suspected he had taken his own life."
PC Pugh told the court he forced the door open using a crow bar.
They found Mr Beastall's body between the door and a large gun safe.
PC Pugh said: "The first floor bedroom of the house was used for the storage of Mr Beastall's many guns.
"There was no evidence of foul play. There was no note left. However, we did search for one."
Mr Beastall's daughter-in-law, Ellen Beastall, told the inquest that he had been left devastated by his wife's death.
She said: "One particular thing that stands out is him saying to me, 'My mind is full of devastation.'
"He seemed to be getting on with it OK, but apparently he wasn't."
Assistant deputy coroner Paul McCandless said the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr McCandless said: "This occurred following on from the death of his wife in February, having a total sense of devastation and notwithstanding the love of his own family.
"In some ways he seemed to be getting on with things, but a total sense of devastation was still overtaking him. He was so overtaken by grief and devastation that I am satisfied beyond doubt that his intention was to end his own life."