Record of Investigation into Death (Without Inquest)

Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Rules 2006
Rule 11

These findings have been de-identified by direction of the Coroner pursuant to S.57(1)(c) of  Coroners Act 1995

I, Robert Pearce, Coroner, having investigated a death of

Mr L


Find That :

(a) Mr L died on or about 19 March 2011 at Sassafras;

(b) Mr L was born in Hobart in 1963 and was aged 48 years;

(c) Mr L died from a gun shot wound to the head;

(d) At the time of his death Mr L was being treated by a medical practitioner.

Circumstances Surrounding the Death:

Mr L lived at Sassafras, with his wife Mrs L and his two children. He worked as a storeman in East Devonport.

In 2006 and following Mr L received treatment for depression. At that time he had suicide ideation. One of the reasons for this was his fear of developing Huntington’s disease to which he had a genetic link. He did not wish to suffer, or put his family through the trauma of, development of the disease that he had seen other family members contract. A couple of weeks before his death he became unsettled. He told his wife that he intended to give notice at work and that he thought he was developing symptoms of the disease.

On 19 March 2011 Mr L phoned his wife and said "I’m going to do this now" and after telling her he was "near the power lines he hung up. She phoned the police. Mr L was found about 1 km from his house in bushland about 70m from his parked car. A sawn off shot gun was at his feet. He had a gunshot wound to his head and was deceased.

A post mortem examination confirmed the cause of death. I am satisfied that the injury was self inflicted.

I have decided not to hold an inquest. The investigation into the death has sufficiently disclosed the matters I am required to determine. Having conducted the investigation I do not consider that the holding of an inquest would elicit any further relevant information.

Comments & Recommendations:

I see no need to make any formal comment or recommendation.

I convey my condolences to Mr L’s family.

DATED: 20 September 2011 at Launceston in the state of Tasmania


Robert Pearce