A man took his own life by inhaling helium in a layby off the A361 near Devizes.
An inquest heard today at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court told of how Great Cheverell man Anthony Edwards, 36, emailed his family to tell them he intended to end his own life, and where he intended to do it.
Having received the email, his mother Janet Keates rushed to the location shortly before 1pm on 29 July last year. She located her son’s blue Ford Focus parked in a layby off the A361 between Devizes and Beckhampton, known to locals as the Beckhampton Straight.
Having approached the vehicle, she found Mr Edwards unresponsive on the back seat, appearing grey-blue in colour. Mrs Keates called 999.
PC Lewis was one of the first officers to arrive at the incident shortly after 1pm. She told the inquest that a canister of helium, and other associated items, were located in the vehicle.
South Western Ambulance Service attended and pronounce life extinct 1.15pm.
DC Rotter and DS Morely, from Melksham CID, were later called to the scene. They both told of how Mr Edwards had no injuries to his face or hands, and they felt there were no suspicious circumstances around his death.
Police staff member, Samantha Hagan, examined Mr Edwards’ mobile phone following his death. She confirmed he had sent a suicide note via email at 12.15pm on 29 July. She told the inquest that he was found deceased at the location mentioned in his email.
During a post-mortem examination, it was deduced that his cause of death was suffocation. It was noted that it is not possible to detect the presence of helium in toxicology results.
Mr Edwards struggled with mental health issues for many years but had more recently been talking to the crisis team on a daily basis. He suffered from depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. In the months before his death, he had been treated as a mental health inpatient.
HM Assistant Coroner Ian Singleton recorded his death as suicide.