Man died after setting himself on fire in garden

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

A pensioner died after setting himself alight in his garden and suffering 80 per cent burns.

Alan Thorne’s body was found at his home in Tarry Hill, Swineshead on August 26 last year.

Keiron Davey, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue investigation officer, said evidence indicated Mr Thorne had covered himself with petrol on a garden bench.

A 16-page statement from Mr Thorne’s wife of 46 years, Angela, said Mr Thorne had suffered depression.

The pair moved to Swineshead five years ago but the house had a catalogue of problems which made Mr Thorne ‘very down’. In addition, his two dogs had also died.

On the day of her husband’s death, she said he had gone for a walk at 3pm – the same time he used to take the dogs out – and she had gone upstairs to sort some boxes.

She said: “He hadn’t let me know he was back and I decided to go outside and have a cigarette. I opened the door and saw Alan laid down with small flames on his neck.

“I grabbed a watering can to put water on Alan’s neck and called 999. I said ‘my husband’s on fire’ – I was screaming for a neighbour to come and help.

“I went and sat in the house - I didn’t want to go in the garden. I don’t think I ever want to go in the garden again. I knew Alan was depressed, but he had given me no clue he was so unhappy.”

Daughter Joanne told the inquest she believed there had been an issue with her mum and dad over an affair years ago.

She said: “I believe he was depressed and, yes, he would have been sad about his dogs. But not this – I believe what he did was a statement to her.”

Coroner Professor Robert Forrest said Mr Thorne killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed.