An inquest into the. circumstances surrounding the death was held by the Coroner (Mr V. G. Day) this morning.
Henry George Frampton stated that | deceased,- who was his brother, was a bachelor,, and was ,28' years of age. Deceased had lived at" his farm with Frank .Reeves. » man who worked for 'hini. Witness last saw his brother alive on Saturday, ■ February 28, in j Ashburtoii.' "Witness then had a talk with deceased, who did not seem so lively as usual, but there was nothing strange in his manner. Last Saturday week deceased sold his farm, and witness thought it quite likely that the fact that he lijjcT- sold his farm had a little to do with his .brother not being so cheerful as usual. He mentioned the sate-to witness, and said that he was sorry that he had sold the farm. He wns born on the farm, which was loft him by his mother. Ho added, that ho^ would try and get it back. About five years ago deceased was in a mental hospital for eight or nine weeks. Witness did not know why deceased had 1»'->ct sent there. "Witness had never heard him threaten to make away with himself. Deceased owned a gun of the description produced. On Saturday he had seemed a shade melancholy.
Frank Reeves, a farm labourer,, lately in ihe employ of deceased, stated that he had been with deceased sinco October 6 last, and had lived on the farm all that time. Witness knew that the farm had beuu sold about a week ago. Deceased stated that he was sorry he had sold the farm. Since the sale he seemed to grow quieter. Witness last saw him alive at 3.30 o'clock yesterday afternoon, when they had a conversation. He then seemed as usual, but quiet. He sent * witness to look after the sheep, and spoke him at the gate near the stable, where they parted. Witness found deceased lying under Lhc apple trees with his gun beside him. He -was then kicking and throwing his arms about. Witness did not hear the report of the gun. Deceased , did not speak or groan. Witness immediately rang up for a doctor. Deceased was lying on his face. John Murray Johnston was with witness when he found deceased wounded.
John Murray Johnston, a fanner, residing at Eiffelton, said tHat at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon he went to deceased's house to see him on business. He met Reeves in the yard, and they went to find deceased, smd found him in an orchard as described by Reeves. Witness turned deceased over to see what the injury was, and- found that his clothing was covered" in blood. Witness spoke to him, but he did not recognise witness. He moaned a little and died in a few minutes. The body wn& carried into the house. Witness did not hear the report of a gun. William Thomas Lill gave' similar evidence. He said he had the body taken into the house. A wougd was found in the ohest after the arrival of the doctor. The wound was such as oould hfivf been caused by the shot from a g'i-1. An empty cartridge was forHd i" the a,nn._
The Coroner returned a verdict to the effect that deceased had committed suicide while temporarily insane.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8808, 3 March 1914
THE INQUEST. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8808, 3 March 1914
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