Rugeley father shot himself dead while wife and children were in the house

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A father shot himself in the head while his wife and two young children were in the house, an inquest heard.

Alan Coles, of Rugeley, killed himself at the family home in Armitage on September 12 last year, after drinking heavily and arguing with his wife.

The 42-year-old pulled the trigger moments after his partner said she was leaving their home on Milmoor Avenue and taking their two sons with her. But following the fatal shooting, his wife, Debbie Coles and his sister, Patricia Coles ,were arrested on suspicion of murder after telling paramedics 'we have killed him'.

They were later released without charge after they told police their comment was because they felt guilty over the rows which led to him taking his own life. An inquest concluded Mr Coles committed suicide while depressed.

The hearing, held at Cannock Coroner's Court on Tuesday heard how on the day of his death, Mr Coles had gone to the shop with £18 and bought cider.

His sister had arrived at the quiet cul-de-sac home at 3.30pm to stay for the weekend and when his wife returned from the school run she was angry he was drinking and the couple began arguing. The rowing continued and escalated throughout the evening.

In a statement by Dc Andrew Martin, the inquest heard how shortly before 9.30pm, Mrs Coles, decided to leave. She told her husband she was going and put shoes and coats on their sons.

Mr Coles is said to have told his wife 'you'll be sorry' before running upstairs. Mrs Coles told police she then heard a loud bang. His sister told Mrs Coles to 'get the kids out the house' before she went upstairs.

When interviewed by police his sister said she only took two steps into the bedroom before seeing Mr Coles lying face down on the floor and a light brown gun case on the bed.


After lengthy interviews, Staffordshire police were satisfied that there was no third party involvement in the death.

Andrew Haigh, senior coroner for Staffordshire South, concluded Mr Coles died of a gunshot wound to the head having committed suicide while depressed.

No family attended the inquest but a statement read out to the court said: "There was a substantial deterioration in his condition over the years but his death was still a shock to the family."

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