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
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.
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.”