Open verdict on farm manager

A FARM manager who ‘found it difficult to cope’ after separating from his wife, died in his car of carbon monoxide poisoning, an inquest heard last week.

John Hague, 51, was found dead near his place of work, Cherry Tree Farms, Addlethorpe, on December 14.

He had separated from his wife of 11 years and the mother of his three children, Sharon Hague, in May, though the couple continued to live together until the sale of their home in November.

In a statement read at the Lincoln Cathedral Centre hearing last Tuesday, Mrs Hague explained that although they had remained good friends, Mr Hague ‘took separation badly and found it difficult to cope’.

Despite his difficulties with the separation, Mr Hague was reported as being in good spirits when he last saw his wife on December 12.

However two days later a colleague of Mr Hague discovered him dead in his car with the engine still on and a pipe running from the exhaust to the driver’s window.

David Campling had known Mr Hague for nine years and secured his job for him at the farm two years ago.

In a statement he said that prior to the day of his death Mr Hague ‘seemed his usual self but was constantly talking about how he had split up with his wife and how it was doing his head in.’

A postmortem conducted by Dr Kay at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham on December 15 identified carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of Mr Hague’s death.

Coroner Stuart Fisher recorded an open verdict because although a note was discovered in Mr Hague’s car it made no indication that he had intended to take his own life.