BUILDER Michael Beard shot himself after becoming annoyed about the sale of a piece of land, an inquest heard.

A friend found Mr Beard's body in an outbuilding at his Trellis Cottage home in Stroud.

The 71-year-old took his own life, Gloucestershire's assistant deputy coroner Tom Osborne ruled.

Ken Yateman, a friend who went to Mr Beard's home to buy a digger, found his body with a wound to the neck on May 24 last year.

Mr Yateman told the inquest that he noticed Mr Beard was "down and out of sorts" when he spoke to him just moments before the tragedy.


PC Ian Northfield, who was called to the scene, confirmed to the coroner that Mr Beard had been seeming depressed before his death.

Mr Osborne, asked: "He was annoyed with himself about the sale of some land?"

PC Northfield replied: "That is what I was led to understand."

A small barrelled shotgun 410, manufactured in Belgium, for which Mr Beard had a lawful certificate, was found in the outbuilding, the inquest heard.

A police expert examined the gun and concluded that despite there being no safety catch on the gun, pressure would have to have been applied in order for the gun to discharge.

Mr Osborne recorded a verdict that Mr Beard had taken his own life.

He told Mr Beard’s son Daniel and daughter Victoria: "From the information we have there can be only one conclusion - that he did intend to take his own life.

"This is a tragedy in itself. It seems to me that the person that took their life was not the Michael Beard or the dad you knew. There was something else that affected him.

"When you remember your dad, try to remember the fonder memories than the circumstances of his sad death."