Veteran of Albrighton Hunt shot himself, inquest told

An experienced member of the Albrighton Hunt shot himself in the head at his home, an inquest has ruled. Ray Shaw was found dead on December 11 last year after failing to turn up for a hunt.

Veteran of Albrighton Hunt shot himself, inquest told

South Shropshire coroner John Ellery today returned the verdict that Mr Shaw had killed himself. The inquest, held at Bridgnorth Council Chamber, heard that Mr Shaw had used his hand gun to shoot himself. His wife, Margaret Shaw, told the inquest he had used the hand gun frequently in his job.

She said his role involved looking after the hounds and horses used for the hunt, and humanely killing injured animals.

She said: "He loved his dogs and his horses. He had the gun as a humane killer. It took one bullet and he used it often in his job.

"He never made a mistake and never got anything wrong, even with the horses."

The inquest was told that when a CID officer told Mrs Shaw her husband had been found dead, she said 'he's shot himself'.

Mrs Shaw said: "He always said that would be the way he would go, but I always thought it was just in jest."

Miles Salmon, a former joint master huntsman for the Albrighton Hunt, went to Mr Shaw's house on Holyhead Road, Albrighton, when he failed to turn up for the hunt.

Mr Salmon said: "I could see that the food had been put out for the hounds for when they returned that night, but the horses had not been cleaned out.

"They were not distressed, but something was clearly wrong.

"There was something in the air, that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. That is a feeling I will never forget."

Mr Salmon told the inquest that he decided to force the door open with another huntsman who he had arranged to meet at the property, Brian Hinks.

After forcing the door open, they checked the house and Mr Salmon found 45-year-old Mr Shaw in his bedroom.

He said: "He was white and had his hands by his side.

"I called Brian and then we went downstairs."

Coroner Ellery ruled that Mr Shaw had died at his home some time between 7.20pm on December 11 and had been discovered the next morning by Mr Salmon and Mr Hinks.

A post mortem, carried out at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford on December 14, said Mr Shaw had died from a gunshot wound to the middle of his forehead.

Following Mr Shaw's tragic death friends and colleagues paid tribute to the 'hardworking man' who put everything into his job and was 'extremely professional' in all that he did.

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