Weymouth firefighter took his own life

Gary Hayward

Gary Hayward

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A WEYMOUTH firefighter and beach trader found hanged at the town’s old fire station took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Gary Hayward, who was described by his family as ‘generous and fun to be around’, was found hanged at the redundant Boot Hill station on November 1 last year.

An inquest into the 43-year-old’s death at County Hall in Dorchester was told two Dorset Fire and Rescue Service staff members had discovered the body in the training tower when they carried out routine maintenance.

In a statement PC Nicholas Gravenor, of Dorset Police, stated that he and a colleague had attended the scene and helped Mr Hayward down before other fire officers and an ambulance arrived, but Mr Hayward was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detective Sergeant Steve Broadhurst confirmed that letters were found both at the scene and at Mr Hayward’s Newstead Road home addressed to his family that appeared to be suicide notes.

Pathologist Dr Basil Purdue stated there was no evidence to suggest anyone else had been involved in the death and there were no traces of drugs or alcohol in the deceased’s system.

Mr Hayward’s brother Stephen provided a statement at the inquest, which was read on his behalf by Dorset Coroner Sheriif Payne.

He described how Mr Hayward was born and brought up in Weymouth, and after working in various jobs, had taken over his father’s beach kiosk nine years ago and also joined Dorset Fire and Rescue Service as a retained firefighter in 2005.

Stephen Hayward, who is a full-time firefighter himself, said his brother became a ‘well-respected’ member of the fire service, who was involved with community safety, fundraising and the training of cadets.

He said: “Gary was someone who was always ready to help and support anyone and he never asked for recognition for the assistance he gave.

“He was always generous and great fun to be around.

“He could make old and young people laugh. His love for his family was immense and we are all proud of his achievements.”

Stephen Hayward said that he had seen his brother just two days prior to his death and he appeared to be his normal self.

Mr Payne said that, while it was hard to understand why Mr Hayward had chosen to take his life, the notes he had left meant he had to record a verdict of suicide.

He said: “I sadly have to record a verdict that he has taken his own life, that he has committed suicide.

“Sadly there is no explanation for this and there are occasions where people do commit suicide and there is no logical explanation whatsoever and no warning.”

Comments (2)

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1:31pm Fri 5 Apr 13

RACE4LIFE says...

What a terrible tragedy. My condolences to his family.

Due to the information available, one cannot ascertain the particular cause in this unfortunate man's case, but coupled with other similar incidents recently, it does open up again, the issue of the treatment, expectations and burdens of of men in society and Male mental health.

Men account for over 75% of all suicides yet mental health resources, especially for men are very scarce. This is made worse with the ill conceived, "man up" and "take it like a man" social indoctrine that is still constantly thrust upon males in the media and in general society from a very young age. It is also often the cause of why so many Men do not feel they can speak about it.

It really is time for government and official bodies to do more about challenging the mainstream media and our overall social culture about this unhealthy projection of men.

These sites below may be of help for any Man ( and some for women too) who feel they may have problems and want to know more or talk with/read about others in the same boat.

http://www.mens-well
being.com/
www.mind.org.uk/
http://www.menshealt
hforum.org.uk/

(no endorsement personally just general information)

If you do feel this way, please do not hesitate to contact your G.P straight away. There is NO shame in speaking out as a man about such things and if anyone tells you or makes you feel otherwise, the shame is entirely on them.
What a terrible tragedy. My condolences to his family. Due to the information available, one cannot ascertain the particular cause in this unfortunate man's case, but coupled with other similar incidents recently, it does open up again, the issue of the treatment, expectations and burdens of of men in society and Male mental health. Men account for over 75% of all suicides yet mental health resources, especially for men are very scarce. This is made worse with the ill conceived, "man up" and "take it like a man" social indoctrine that is still constantly thrust upon males in the media and in general society from a very young age. It is also often the cause of why so many Men do not feel they can speak about it. It really is time for government and official bodies to do more about challenging the mainstream media and our overall social culture about this unhealthy projection of men. These sites below may be of help for any Man ( and some for women too) who feel they may have problems and want to know more or talk with/read about others in the same boat. http://www.mens-well being.com/ www.mind.org.uk/ http://www.menshealt hforum.org.uk/ (no endorsement personally just general information) If you do feel this way, please do not hesitate to contact your G.P straight away. There is NO shame in speaking out as a man about such things and if anyone tells you or makes you feel otherwise, the shame is entirely on them. RACE4LIFE
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 6 Apr 13

weymouthfox says...

So sad. I often had a mug of tea with Gary at his hut opposite the Gloucester Hotel. He always seemed so cheerful and happy.
So sad. I often had a mug of tea with Gary at his hut opposite the Gloucester Hotel. He always seemed so cheerful and happy. weymouthfox
  • Score: 0

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