Heartbroken Staffordshire man writes note for family before killing himself after death of beloved dog



A 60-year-old man took his own life after being left feeling ‘alone’ following the death of his pet dog.

Harold Meakin’s body was discovered inside his car at a farm in Grindon, in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Mr Meakin – who was also known as Lawrence – had camped at Beeston Tor Farm for the past 10 years.

In a statement to the inquest, farmer Stephen Grace said: “I received a call to say a car was parked up. I started to wonder if it was Lawrence who had been coming here for the last 10 years to camp.

“I went to the passenger door and noticed the windows were steamed up. On the dashboard there was a note that said ‘danger carbon monoxide’.

“I could see Lawrence slumped to one side in the driver’s seat. I opened the driver’s door, checked for a pulse, and there was no pulse. I closed the door, went to the house and dialled 999.”

A note was found in the electrical designer’s Audi A3 addressed to his nephew Joseph Meakin. It said he ‘felt alone’ after the death of his dog.

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In a statement, Joseph Meakin said: “He lived life as a recluse, he never married or had children.

“I last saw him five days before he died. He didn’t have much contact with the outside world and didn’t want to connect with the outside world.

“There were no signs of him feeling low or being depressed and he wanted to move to Thailand.

“He informed me that he would be going away for a few days to the Staffordshire Moorlands to clear his head and he would contact me when he was ready.

“What he did was completely out of character and a complete shock. He never showed any intention of wanting to harm himself or commit suicide.”

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning following the February 6 tragedy. He lived in Wolverhampton Road, Cannock.

North Staffordshire assistant coroner Sarah Murphy delivered a suicide verdict.

She said: “It is clear this was completely unexpected and out of the blue for his family. He had no history of mental health. There is no way the family could have anticipated this.”

Need help?

The Samaritans : 116 123. Website:  www.samaritans.org . Email: jo@samaritans.org

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Call the NHS 111 service if you urgently require medical help or advice. The service is availabe 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Mental Health Access Team : 0300 123 0907

The single point of contact and access for all North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust services. The Access Team provides 24/7 cover for all mental health and learning disability services across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

Mind Infoline : 0300 123 3393. Website:  www.mind.org.uk . Email: info@mind.org.uk. Text: 86463

Information on a range of mental health problems and support. Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

HOPELineUK : 0800 068 41 41

A specialist telephone service staffed by trained professionals at PAPYRUS who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to children, teenagers, young adults aged up to 35 and anyone concerned about a young person. Opening hours are 10am to 10pm, Mondays to Fridays, 2pm to 5pm, weekends and bank holidays.

NSPCC Childline : 0800 1111. Website:  www.childline.org.uk

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SANE : 0845 767 8000. Website:  www.sane.org.uk . Email: sanemail@sane.org.uk

Out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. Open every day from 6pm to 11pm.

Staffordshire Mental Health Helplin e: 0808 800 2234. Email: staffordshire.helpline@brighter-futures.org.uk. Text: 07860 022821

Emotional support for people concerned about their mental health or someone they know.





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