Inquest hears 24-year-old shot himself with father's shotgun

Will Taylor

A 24-year-old man found dead in Bray earlier this year shot himself in the head, an inquest heard today.

Neil Porter, who lived with family in Windsor Road, died on the morning of Wednesday, March 9.

He was found lying in the garden shed, with a shotgun next to him. A post-mortem found he had died due to massive fatal trauma to the head from a gunshot.

At an inquest held at Reading Town Hall, Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford ruled Mr Porter had taken his own life while suffering from depression.

He said there appeared to have been little sign such an act was going to happen, and asked Mr Porter’s family if they knew why he had done it.

Ian Porter, his brother, said: “No-one knows.”

Mr Bedford said: “That is very difficult for families. When they can’t make sense of it.”

The siblings had last seen each other when they greeted each other by the bathroom at 11.20am, the inquest heard. Neil, who worked in a restaurant, was later discovered by his mother in the shed.

Mr Bedford said according to Ian Porter's testimony, Mrs Porter ran into the kitchen at 11.50am, shouting at Ian words to the effect of ‘he’s killed himself’.

The emergency services were called but paramedics were unable to help. Mr Porter had used a shotgun licensed to his father. He had found where the key to its storage unit was kept and retrieved the weapon from there.

Ian Porter said only their father knew where the key was.

Mr Porter’s family had been aware of his depression, but he had not gone to the doctor’s for it.

An appointment with a GP had been arranged by his mother for the week after he took his life. Mr Porter had spent the previous night with friends and there was ‘no indication he was down’.

Mr Bedford said one friend believed ‘she could tell when he was feeling low’.

Mr Porter had left two notes in his room, one with song lyrics, and another that had the names of his family and friends around a ‘goodbye’. A toxicology report came back ‘completely negative’, the inquest heard.

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