Potters Bar dad dies of horrific burns - inquest

A MARRIED father who set fire to himself intended to commit suicide, an inquest has heard. Kenneth Wilson ran past his family home in a ball of fire, after dousing himself in petrol

A MARRIED father who set fire to himself intended to commit suicide, an inquest has heard.

Kenneth Wilson ran past his family home in a ball of fire, after dousing himself in petrol in August last year.

His sons rushed out using a duvet to smother the flames, but the 56-year-old from Coningsby Drive, Potters Bar, had suffered more than 50 per cent burns.

The security guard had split from wife Denise three weeks earlier and told firefighters, paramedics and doctors he had meant to kill himself.


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Mr Wilson, originally from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, spent 102 days in hospital with horrific injuries before suffering multiple organ failure.

At an inquest held last Wednesday, coroner Edward Thomas said the family were unaware of Mr Wilson's presence until they saw a ball of fire running round in the garden.

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He said: "They had not seen him until there was a noise and fire.

"They ran to the front door and did everything they could to try and help him."

A suicide note was earlier sent to his wife and another letter was found by fire investigators in his jeans, which had to be cut off at the scene. Both indicated Mr Wilson thought life wasn't worth living.

A green petrol can with a melted spout and box of matches were found at the scene and Mr Thomas ruled out anyone else being involved.

He said: "He was quite clear he intended to do this, and what he said fits with what had been found.

"What he said to the ambulance, fire service and doctors he made it clear, he didn't feel life was worth living.

"It is also clear to me he was saying 'I'm doing this and I know what's going to happen and that's what I wanted'."

Mr Thomas recorded a verdict that Mr Wilson took his own life.

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