An inquest was held by Mr 11. "V\. Bishop, District Coroner, at the residence of Mr E. C. Mouldey on Saturday afternoon. Senior-Sergeant Matmesoii represented the police. William Alexander McDowell, cabinetmaker. Christchurch, residing at Heathcote, next door to Mr Mouldey, and a brother-in-law of the deceased, stated that tho deceased was about tiiirtv vcars of ace and was a wine' distiller. Deceased lived with his father, and was accustomed to the uso of firearms. He was in tho habit of going out on the hills three or four times in the week shootUig rabbits. Witness knew nothing about the accident. Deceased was a sin._lo man. • Frederick King, fruit grower. Heathcote, stated that he knew thc deceased .well. Witness was working u\~> the hill on Friday morning about 11.30 o'clock when deceased came up to him; he was carrying a gun. They talked for a few'minutes, when a 'rabbit came up, and deceased went after it and shot. ono rabbit and came back and talked a few minutes. When ho left deceased paid that ho was going to dinner, and left to go across witness's horse paddock, where witness said that he might find a rabbit. That was the last_ he saw of deceased. About 7.30 a.m. on Saturday •Mr Mouldey, 6enr., asked witness if ho liad seen his son, and witness told him ho bad, and when he was told that tho deceased had not returned ho went and looked for him on the hi'Ts. Witness found the body lying on tlio back, tho barrel of the gun resting on tho left shoulder, and tho left arm over the gun. Witness left the body as ho found it. nnd went and communicated with tho police. The Coroner: Did you form any theory as to how he met with his death?
"Witness: I could form none whatever. Tt appeared to be an accident.
The Coroner remarked on tho peculiar position of the pun.
Witness stated that -whilst speaking to him deceased wn.s leaninc on-his*pun with his hands over tho mouth of tho barrel. He found ono of tho barrels discharged; the other was fully charged; both hammers v.-ero down. Deceased had been, apparently, trying to got through a cate.
Albert John Orchard, medical practitioner, .stated that he knew tho deceased .well, and had examined the body. Tho canso of death was a gunshot wound, tho charge entering the front of the neck and prof-ceding upwards and shattering the skull.
The Coroner: Would tho wound be produced by a man leaning on his gun as described by Mr King?
The Coroner recorded a verdict that deceased met hi-* donth by being accidentally shot whilst shooting rabbits.