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Inquest hears how daughter found father dead in his garden

PUBLISHED: 16:46 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 20 November 2018

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is based. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is based. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

The daughter of an 81-year-old retired BT engineer found her father dead in his garden after he took his own life, an inquest has heard.

George Keppler, born on February 7, 1937, was originally from Shoreditch in London and died from a shotgun wound to the chest at his home on Chapel Road, Longham, near Dereham, on July 20 this year.

At Norfolk Coroners’ Court, area coroner Yvonne Blake described how Mr Keppler had been struggling with anxiety but had no history of mental illness and denied suffering from depression.

He had been seeking help for his anxiety and was due to see a mental health practitioner on the day he died.

A statement from Mr Keppler’s daughter read out by the coroner detailed how she was expecting her father at home but he did not show up.

She went to his house and noticed that the front gate was shut and the curtains were closed and phoned her husband. Soon after she went to the garage and discovered that the car was still there.

She found her dad lying in the garden with his shotgun next to him and put the phone down on her husband to call 999.

The coroner told the court how Mr Keppler’s daughter left her father alone and did not go within 15 feet of him.

A statement read out by the coroner from Mr Keppler’s daughter’s husband detailed how he had received a phone call from his wife on July 20, who told him that she had found her dad at the bottom of the garden.

He then went to his father-in-law’s house.

Two notes were found, one of which was in his pocket, which the coroner said showed “a degree of preparation” and added that “he did intend to take his life and did so”.

He had not been identified as being at risk of suicide but had been prescribed anti-depressants and beta blockers for his anxiety.

The coroner was satisfied that there was no third party involvement and ruled that the cause of death for Mr Keppler was suicide.

• Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney (and Wellbeing Suffolk) can be accessed via 0300 1231503 or www.wellbeingnands.co.uk and the free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.

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