AN ELDERLY man who hated being old took his own life, an inquest heard last week.

AN ELDERLY man who hated being old took his own life, an inquest heard last week.

Reginald Perry, known as John, shot himself in St Andrew's Cemetery in Sawtry on May 18. The 72-year-old, ofHill Close, Sawtry, had first called police to tell them they needed to come to the cemetery quickly but disconnected the call when questioned further by the 999 operator.

Just minutes later, police officers found Mr Perry lying face down in undergrowth. His car was parked at the cemetery gates and his shotgun was lying close by.

Detective Inspector Jon McAdam, giving evidence at Thursday's inquest, said that despite the best efforts of officers and paramedics from the air ambulance, Mr Perry died from his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. He said he was satisfied that the death was not suspicious.

Belinda Cheney, assistant deputy coroner for South and West Cambridgeshire, heard from Mr Perry's widow and the couple's daughters that they were "shocked but not surprised" that Mr Perry had chosen to take his own life.

His wife described him as "the sort of man who had the bottle to do it" and said despite being given the all-clear after his second course of chemotherapy he had no enthusiasm for life.

One of his daughters told Mrs Cheney: "My father wasn't a demonstrative man but in the last three weeks of his life, every time he saw us, he gave us a hug, gave us a kiss and said 'look after your mum.'"

Mrs Cheney recorded a verdict of suicide.