Pensioner in pain committed suicide over incorrect fear he had cancer

A pensioner committed suicide after wrongly fearing that he had cancer.

Douglas Biggadike was “200 per cent” convinced that he had the disease and shot himself after suffering months of pain.

A resumed inquest into his August 12 death heard that both his father and father-in-law had died from cancer and he was determined not to suffer similar agony.

Mr Biggadike, of Broad Lane, Moulton, would have turned 80 years old last Tuesday.

His wife of 55 years, Gwen, said: “He couldn’t stand the pain and said he would rather shoot himself. I told him not to talk like that and he said ‘you don’t know what it’s like’.”

She described to the inquest how Mr Biggadike had become frustrated with a hospital diagnosis of a hiatus hernia and a small gallstone.
He told his wife: “You don’t get pain like this when there’s nothing wrong.”

Mrs Biggadike told the hearing at Boston Coroner’s Court: “He was convinced 200 per cent that he had got cancer. Both our parents died [from cancer] within five weeks of each other.
“Doug was convinced he had it because the pain was that bad.”

She went on to describe how he had woken at 3am on the day of his death “in agony”.
He took a couple of painkillers but couldn’t get back to sleep.

At about 5.30am he asked his wife if she wanted to go for a walk, but she declined as she was still in her nightie.
After going outside for a couple of minutes, he returned briefly before leaving again.

“He gave me a kiss and looked at me as though he was going to say something, but didn’t,” Mrs Biggadike said.
When he hadn’t returned by 6am, she went to look for him and found his body in the couple’s disused pigeon loft in their garden.

The inquest heard that no malignancy was found during the postmortem.

Mr Biggadike was an HGV driver for Geest for 40 years before becoming a farm worker.

Gun disposal advice: The “antique” double-barrel shotgun used was unregistered.
It is thought to have been one Mr Biggadike used to kill game decades ago, although no family member was aware he still had it or where it had been stored.
Speaking at the inquest, investigating officer Det Insp Dave Rimmer, of Spalding CID, gave disposal advice to anyone who discovered such a “souvenir weapon”.
He said: “What they should do is take it to a police station.
“There will not be any comeback on people who surrender their weapons in that way.”

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