Tragedy of Blandford man in shotgun death

A MAN found dead with a shotgun wound to the chest was ‘fed up’ after losing a friend and three dogs, an inquest was told.

Stephen Ernest Whitehand’s former partner Madeleine Thorn found his body in his bed at his home at Salisbury Road, Blandford on June 23.

At an inquest into the 50-year-old unemployed scaffolder’s death at County Hall in Dorchester Miss Thorn said she had spoken to Mr Whitehand on the phone two days prior to his death.

She said: “He had been out of work for over a year, had lost three dogs in three months and wanted to get out of Blandford – he hated it there – and in general he was feeling fed up.”

Miss Thorn said she was unable to contact him the following day and was concerned so on June 23 she went round to Mr Whitehand’s house and discovered his body, with a rifle next to him in the bed.

Deputy Coroner for West Dorset Alan Horne recorded an open verdict.

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