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Coroner concludes former cabinet maker, 81, killed himself in fit of depression

A PENSIONER struggling with pain and depression stabbed himself through the heart with a knife that probably came from his own collection of historic weapons, an inquest has heard.

Paramedics called to Les Roberts’s home in Heath Street, Bradford Moor, found him in bed clutching a knife under his arm near his chest where there was a single stab wound.

His wife Maureen Roberts had raised the alarm on October 18 last year.

An inquest in Bradford yesterday heard she had not noticed the wound, which was covered by bedding, when she had gone to wake him and got no response.

Police called to the couple’s home by paramedics initially arrested Mrs Roberts on suspicion of murder but she was later released without charge.

A police search of the bedroom found a sheath for the dagger-like knife on Mr Roberts’s bedside and a suicide note under some medication.

Bradford Coroner Martin Fleming was told by police that the note had not been obvious when officers first arrived.

Inquiries revealed the retired cabinet-maker had a collection of historic knives and guns kept locked in a secure place.

The 81-year-old had a complex medical history after a diagnosis of prostate and skin cancer, for which he had had surgery.

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He was also in constant pain from other conditions which affected his mental health. He had made remarks about not wanting to live any more but despite his family’s pleas had refused counselling and would not take prescribed anti-depressants.

Forensic pathologist Dr Michael Parsons said a single self-inflicted stab wound through the heart had caused his death.

“Dark thoughts spiralled until they took him to a very dark place indeed,” said Mr Fleming, who concluded Mr Roberts had committed suicide.

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