Coro­ner rules pen­sioner took his own life

In­quest told man found in shop­ping cen­tre car park had been strug­gling with health prob­lems and med­i­ca­tion side ef­fects

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Michael Rankin, who was 77 and lived in Bea­cons­field, told his wife Ilsa at about 9pm, that he was head­ing to Tesco in Loud­wa­ter to buy the bot­tle so that he could have a glass be­fore head­ing to bed on Oc­to­ber 6. In­stead, a coro­ner’s in­quest held on, Novem­ber 4, heard that he drove to the cen­tre of High Wy­combe and headed to level five of the car park of the Eden Cen­tre shop­ping precinct.

Po­lice were

alerted by Mrs Rankin when her hus­band did not re­turn from the su­per­mar­ket. Of­fi­cers checked ANPR sys­tems and the lo­ca­tion of his mobile phone be­fore track­ing him down to the Eden Cen­tre in the early hours of Oc­to­ber 7.

When they ar­rived, they found his body on level two of the car park, with a rope dan­gling from level five, lead­ing them to as­cer­tain that he had hanged him­self be­fore the rope hold­ing him had bro­ken.

The court heard that Mr Rankin, a re­tired com­puter engi­neer orig­i­nally from New­cas­tle-upon-Tyne, had suf­fered prob­lems with his heart and swelling in his legs, and had been un­happy in the build up to his death. Of­fi­cers at the scene found two notes, one in­tended for his wife and one for the emer­gency ser­vices.

Mrs Rankin said: “He was quite ir­ri­tated by the heart prob­lems. He would say ‘I don’t think I’ll make it to the end of the week.

“The side ef­fects of his med­i­ca­tion were quite hor­ren­dous. He was un­able to sleep at night and some­times un­able to stay awake.”

Coro­ner Richard Hulett recorded a ver­dict that Mr Rankin took his own life.

He said: “Th­ese things [Mr Rankin’s health prob­lems] may have played a part, we don’t know,” and added: “Plainly, it was a very de­lib­er­ate de­ci­sion on his part to put an end to his life, cou­pled with notes ex­plain­ing his in­ten­tions.

“I record that he took his own life and that will con­clude the in­quest.”

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