A father-of-four was cremated rather than buried after police failed to pass on his suicide note to his devastated wife.
Brian Alex Reynolds, known as Alex, was found dead at his home in Rushmere Drive, Bury, at 8pm on 9 March.
A note left in his living room had contained his dying wishes, along with a message to wife Victoria, in which Mr Reynolds, 39, told her that she had 'made all his dreams come true’.
It was written on sheet music for 'their song' – Dreams by Gabrielle – which was framed in their home.
But Mrs Reynolds only found out about the note nine weeks after her husband’s death, when he had already been cremated, against the wishes he had left in his final message.
She told an inquest at Rochdale Coroner's Court that she felt “angry” at Mr Reynolds because she thought he had not left a note and presumed that he had been angry with her, which “took a huge toll” on her mental health and left her “distraught”.
Mr Reynolds contracted meningitis in 2017 and despite recovering, started to get crippling migraines on a weekly basis and this was a factor that led to a downturn in his mental health.
In March 2020, he was furloughed from his job and “struggled” with this as his basic wage was “low” and a lot of his earnings came from commission on successful sales.
Eventually he lost his job, which Victoria described as a “big blow” and was diagnosed with depression in November 2020.
After taking his own life in March this year, detective inspector Nathan Percival, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) attended Alex's home after his body was found, along with other officers.
He found the note in the lounge and he said that he expected officers to make contact with Mrs Reynolds the following morning – but she never received any further contact.
Percival described it as a “miscommunication” and offered to meet with Mrs Reynolds to talk about it in person.
He said: "It’s tragic. I do apologise, it certainly shouldn’t happen like that."
In a statement issued through her solicitors outside of the inquest hearing, Mrs Reynolds said: ”The additional confusion from the initial failings, the lack of police contact and the fact that the note and photos were never mentioned or provided to me for nine weeks has taken a huge toll on my mental health and that of my children as we can never have complete closure knowing that we never had the opportunity to fulfil his final wishes due to errors of the police.
The inquest is set to conclude today.
For confidential emotional support contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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