'Kind-hearted' Ken, 64, died in his car boot after taking an overdose of medication
‘Lonely’ Kenneth Gallagher was found dead in the boot of his car after taking his own life. The 64-year-old had been reported missing by concerned family members who had not seen or heard from him for days. His body was found on December 11 last year inside his Audi Q7, which he had parked outside a business premises in Hartshill.
An inquest into Mr Gallagher’s death heard he had taken an overdose of the medication he was prescribed for his arthritis. Truck driver Mr Gallagher, of Park Avenue, Wolstanton, loved driving and had a passion for motorbikes. He had recently retired and bought a caravan.
However he was plagued by health problems. Family members said he was ‘crippled’ with arthritis, which caused him a lot of pain and affected his ability to ride his motorbike. He had recently had a positive cancer screening and was due to undergo an endoscopy to investigate.
Police cordoned off Balloon Street in Hartshill following the discovery of Mr Gallagher’s body. (Image: Pete Stonier/StokeonTrentLive)
Mr Gallagher’s cousin Mohammed Doud last saw him on November 29.
Mr Doud said: “He spent the day at our family address. He wasn’t himself, he was very quiet. “Ken was talking about moving closer to us.
On November 30 I sent him a text to remind him about a house viewing. He replied, ‘OK mate’. I text him numerous times on November 31 but he didn’t reply.
He also didn’t show up the next day on December 1.” Another cousin, Debra Dixon, reported Mr Gallagher missing when neither she nor Mr Doud could contact him. She said: “Ken had never made mention of wanting to end his own life.
I knew his arthritis was getting him down, and the fact he lived on his own. I don’t believe the lockdown helped him either.”
Mr Gallagher’s neighbour, Rebecca Clarke, said he had been acting ‘out of character’ when she last saw him on November 28. She added: “I would described Ken as a loner.
He was a very kind-hearted person. He would do anything for anybody. If he thought he could help, he would do.”
Police circulated photographs of Mr Gallagher and his car after he was reported missing on December 7. The Audi was spotted parked and locked outside a premises in Balloon Street, Hartshill. A witness caught a glimpse of Mr Gallagher in the boot and police were informed.
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They found him lying inside the boot, under a duvet, with a packet of his medication. Test showed he died as a result of Tramadol toxicity. Assistant coroner Sarah Murphy concluded that Mr Gallagher’s death was suicide.
She said: “Mr Gallagher was a worried man facing a deterioration in his health. He was in constant pain and suffering from loneliness exacerbated by the lockdown. “I find that by taking the overdose of Tramadol, Mr Gallagher intended to cause his death.”
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