Inquest told of man’s gruesome death

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A West Dereham man decapitated himself using a lorry, rope and a skip, an inquest in King’s Lynn heard today.

Shane Archer, 42, of Station Road, was found in a lorry cab at his place of work, Glazewing, on July 11, just after 4.30am.

Mark Dodman, workshop manager at the premises, also in Station Road, discovered Mr Archer’s body when he arrived for work, claiming he could hear an engine running. A Foden lorry cab had crashed into a parked lorry and trailer. After checking the cab and ringing the emergency services, Mr Dodman saw a blue rope tied to a skip in the yard, the inquest heard.

“I opened the doors there and discovered a body in the driver’s seat,” the court was told.

“I just felt cold so I walked away.”

The inquest heard Mr Dodman suspected the body to be that of Mr Archer, saying he had suffered from depression in the past, but had never mentioned about harming himself.

PC Jonathan Chandler, stationed at Downham Market who attended the scene, told the court: “I saw a decapitated body slumped over towards the driver’s door in the driver’s seat.”

PC Stuart Lacey said on his arrival Mr Dodman was “distressed” and “shaking” when he arrived at the scene, and described operations manager Simon Nurse, who was also present, as having “vacant eyes”.

Dr Andreas Hohnsbein, based at the Bridge Street Surgery in Downham Market, said Mr Archer, who had registered with the practice in the summer of 2010, had a history of depression.

Mr Archer had previously attempted to take his own life by a paracetamol overdose in the 1990s.

The inquest heard Mr Archer had taken anti depressants “on and off” since he was 16 years old. Mr Archer had four consultations on his depression, and had told Dr Hohnsbein last year he had stopped smoking heroin.

Dr Hohnsbein added Mr Archer had ordered his anti-depressant medication “sporadically”.

He was last seen in the surgery in May for a foot injury, but Dr Hohnsbein said there were no “overt features” of depression, nor had Mr Archer mentioned of any issues of feeling low.

The court heard a suicide note had not been left.

In her conclusion, assistant coroner Johanna Thompson said the cause of death was decapitation.

Reporting her conclusions, she said: “Shane did take his own life and that he had the intention of doing so.”