Retired hotel owner who had dementia took his own life in Chichester

The inquest was held at Crawley Coroner's Court
The inquest was held at Crawley Coroner's Court

A retired hotel owner who had vascular dementia shot himself in Chichester, an inquest has heard.

John Goodhew, 72, who lived with his wife in The Street, Itchenor, took his gun from a locked cabinet and shot himself on Thursday, November 22, the inquest heard.

An inquest into his death, held at Crawley Coroner's Court yesterday, heard that the father-of-three was diagnosed with dementia in 2017.

He was often in a low mood and was worried about his future, the inquest heard.

On the day of his death, Mr Goodhew's wife took him to their property in Birdham, which they used as a short term holiday rental, as he had a list of gardening jobs to do.

She then went to play golf but returned shortly before 3pm as she had not been able to get hold of her husband.

Mr Goodhew was discovered in the garden, lying unresponsive on his back with a gun by him, the inquest heard. He was confirmed dead by paramedics at 3.15pm.

A postmortem found the cause of death to be a gun wound.

West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield confirmed Mr Goodhew was in legal possession of the firearm and was entitled to have it there.

Noting his diagnosis of dementia, she said: "He was concerned about what the future held for him with this disease."

Ms Schofield concluded that he took his own life.

If you are affected by any issues raised in this story, contact The Samaritans for confidential support on 116 123

SEE MORE: Vehicle 'dumped and set alight' near Chichester
Here’s how every Sussex MP voted on the eight Brexit options
Wood turning to train driving and pottery ‘Mums Can Do’ it all at West Sussex museum