Farmer who shot himself feared losing family farm

A livestock farmer took his own life because he feared he would lose his wife and business, an inquest was told.

Kevin Wigley, 52, shot himself with a double-barrel shotgun after police were called to a domestic incident at his home in Winster, Derbyshire.

An inquest hearing at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Wigley was worried he would lose his wife of 17 years, Kerry.

Vets had recently told Mr Wigley, whose friends called him “Jim”, that his herd of cattle had been struck down with bovine tuberculosis.

Furthermore, he lost many sheep in the April storms that year and was concerned that he would have to give up his farm, which had been in the family for generations.

Police were called to Mr Wigley’s home on 10 July 2013 following reports of a domestic disturbance.

But as they were about to arrest him, he closed the door on the officers and turned the gun on himself. A post-mortem examination found that Mr Wigley died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The Derbyshire Times reported that assistant coroner James Newman said Mr Wigley was a “kind and honest man” who always put his wife first.

But Mr Newman said Mr Wigley appeared to have financial worries and was fixated that his wife would leave him, while all the evidence suggested this was a “misconceived worry”.

Recording a verdict that Mr Wigley took his own life, the coroner said: “The overriding impression is that Jim just snapped that day. This was so out of character for Jim that nobody could have expected it to play out as it did.”

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