SUICIDE AT BRAUNSTONE HALL..


On Saturday at Braunstone Hall, the residence of Captain R.G.Pochin, about eleven o'clock at night, The body of Richard French, the butler, was found in the shruberry in a condition which left no doubt he had committed suicide. The body was leaning against a tree, the back of the head, completely blown off, with a short breech-loading, fowling-peice lying underneath. The branches of the shrubs above his head were bespattered with brains. Deceased appeared to have placed the gun behind his back and leaned backwards against the tree until the muzzle touched the back of his head. When he pulled the trigger, death must have been instantaneous. Deceased, who was 58 years old had been at the Hall in service for 40 years.

A few months ago he lost his wife and since that time he had been drinking heavily and had also taken opium, so that is conjectured that grief at the loss of his wife had led him to commit the act. In the afternoon he was seen to go in his masters room and take the gun but there was nothing unusual in that and there was a shooting party at the Hall that afternoon. About five o'clock he was seen by the gamekeepers wife but going in a direction differant from that in which was the shooting party. However, she attached no importance to that. A short time afterwards she heard the explosion of a gun in the direction in which he had gone but took no notie as she supposed he had fired at some game.

It is presumed that it was at that time he shot himself. An inquest as held at the school room, Braunstone, on Monday, before Mr Coroner Harrison, when evidence was given to the following effect: Mr Crossley, surgeon said he had examined the body. Death was caused by a gunshot wound in the head. He had no doubt from the appearance of the body the deceased had destroyed himself. The brains were completaly shattered. Captain Ralph George Pohin said deceased was his butler and had been in his service ever since he came to live at the Hall. He had noticed that the deceased had lately seemed dull and low spirited. He saw deceased last alive about half past eleven o'clock on Saturday morning.

He was absent from his dinner duties. Being alarmed at his absence, he sent people in search and the dead body was found. The gun, which was his property, used to be kept unloaded in the servants hall. P.C. George Ward said he was sent in search of deceased on Saturday night. About a quarter before elevan o'clock he found deceased lying dead in the shrubbery. His brains were blown out and a double barreled gun was lying by his side. James Stafford, page in Captain Pochins service, said he saw deceased going towards the dining room about three o'clock on saturday afternoon. He was crying. Ambrose Bennett, woodman in Captain Pochins service said about quarter to five o'clock he heard the discharge of a gun in the direction of the shubbery, where the deceased was afterwards found. The jury returned a verdict "That the deceased had committed suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity"



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