Tragic death of Littlehampton father found at his flat by son

A Littlehampton father was found dead at his flat by his son, an inquest heard.

Peter Bristow, 55, was found lying on the floor with a puncture wound at his flat in Woodlands Avenue, Rustington, Littlehampton, on January 21, an inquest at Crawley Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday (May 14).

The inquest took place at Crawley Coroner's Court on Tuesday (May 14)

The inquest took place at Crawley Coroner's Court on Tuesday (May 14)

Assistant coroner Chris Wilkinson recorded a conclusion of suicide and said he died of a self-inflicted wound.

The inquest heard how Mr Bristow, who worked as a commercial mechanic at Lancing Commercial Ltd, did not turn up for work on the morning of January 21.

His son drove to his flat as he was concerned for his welfare, but there was no reply, the inquest heard. He could hear his phone ringing inside.

Mr Bristow was found on the kitchen floor, the inquest heard. A note was also found in the dining room which indicated he intended to harm himself.

Mr Bristow seemed happy at Christmas, the inquest heard, and had not made any previous attempts to harm himself. He was divorced, but kept in contact with his ex-wife Karen for their three children.

The 55-year-old decided to hand in his notice at work on January 16, which came as a surprise to his ex-wife Karen.

He was a ‘fabulous’ member of the team at work, the inquest heard, and was very much part of the family business. His work tried to discuss options for him, but he did not change his mind about leaving.

Mr Bristow had got in trouble with the police that month, the inquest was told. No charges were brought against him, but it was perhaps his reason to suddenly resign due to potential embarrassment, assistant coroner Chris Wilkinson said.

His medical cause of death was an untreated wound that was self-inflicted.

Assistant coroner Chris Wilkinson said: “Mr Bristow had an opportunity to seek medical assistance but did not. He lost a significant amount of blood and as a result sadly died.”

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can call them free any time, from any phone on 116 123 or you can email them at jo@samaritans.org.

They say: “If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.”