Man, 55, found dead at Stoke-on-Trent allotment a week after he was reported missing by ex-wife


The body of a 55-year-old man was discovered at his Stoke-on-Trent allotment a week after he was reported missing.

Allan Wilton’s ex-wife raised the alarm and a police search got underway.

He was then found seven days later on land off Woodhead Road, Abbey Hulton, on October 10 last year.

Now a coroner has ruled that he took his own life.

The inquest heard how Allan and his wife’s relationship was coming to an end and he had gone missing following an argument at their home.

He was diagnosed with depression and also suffered with alcohol dependence.

In a statement read to the inquest, Nicola Wilton said: “We were married for 16 of our 20 years together.

“Difficulties had arose in the relationship and it was clear the relationship was coming to an end. On October 3 there was an incident where the police were called and Allan left the address. After that I reported him to be missing.

Flowers left outside an allotments in memory of Allan Wilton

“He had an issue with alcohol and that affected the relationship. I supported the relationship financially. He was diagnosed with depression during the relationship and was put on the antidepressant Fluoxetine and as far as I’m aware he was taking his medication correctly.

“When police became aware that he was missing he was treated as a high-risk missing person.”

Nicola says Allan had frequently stated that he wanted to die for the last five years.

There was also an incident 15 years ago where he wrote that he was going to kill himself on the walls with tomato ketchup.

Nicola said: “There was an incident where he took some drink, got some ketchup and wrote on the walls that he was going to kill himself. I came down 30 minutes before he came back in and he stunk of petrol fumes.”

Clare Spendilow was attending to her ponies close to the allotment when she noticed the door to Allan’s allotment was ajar.

She then discovered his body and raised the alarm.

In a statement she said: “I walked past Allan’s allotment and noticed the door was open and there was the shape of a person inside. I pulled back the door and shone my torch and saw him looking peaceful with his eyes closed.

“I raised the alarm, I was aware that he had gone missing as a lot of local people had mentioned that to me and a neighbour was searching for him.”

A note placed inside an envelope was found at the scene along with a mobile phone and smoking material.

A blood test showed his alcohol level to be 140 microgrammes – the legal drink-drive limit is 80.

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A summary from his GP confirmed that Allan had suffered with his mental health and alcohol dependence since 2000.

He was last seen by his GP on September 25 where he talked about moving to Burslem and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Concluding that Allan died as a result of suicide, North Staffordshire Senior Coroner Andrew Barkley said: “The circumstances of his disappearance and the location to which he was found leave me with little doubt that his intention was to end his life.”

If you are experiencing mental health problems, feeling suicidal, or are concerned about someone else, support is available. Speak with your GP, who can refer into appropriate local services, contact the Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline on 0808 800 2234 for out-of-hours support, or call the Samaritans on 116 123 for a listening ear 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.





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