A BURNLEY man due to be sentenced for child porn offences sent flowers to his solicitor’s office before hanging himself at his home, an inquest heard.
Christopher Lyons, 66, had been scheduled to appear before Judge Beverley Lunt on January 31 at the town’s crown court, after admitting to a number of indecent images offences, Accrington Coroner’s Court was told.
But Richard Taylor, an associate solicitor at Southerns Solicitors in Burnley, confirmed in a statement that ‘a large bunch of flowers’ addressed to his wife, with a note signed by Mr Lyons, had arrived at his office on the same day.
He told the court in his statement: “There was going to be a lengthy custodial sentence imposed.”
When the defendant failed to appear in the crown court dock Mr Taylor, who had represented him for more than 30 years, alerted police.
One of the detectives in the case, who had been to the former gas heating engineer’s home the week before the crown court hearing, had found him making out his will, the inquest was told.
Later officers attended Mr Lyons’ terraced house, in Ardwick Street, Burnley, where he was found hanged.
Several notes, indicating his intention to take his own life, were found nearby.
Judge Lunt was later advised by Mr Taylor, in her chambers, about what had happened and the court proceedings were formally discontinued at a later hearing.
Mr Taylor said that the following Monday he also received a number of letters at his office, also indicating Mr Lyons’ desire to end his own life.
Recording a suicide verdict, Blackburn coroner Michael Singleton said he was satisfied, after reviewing letters associated with the case, that he ‘brought about his own demise’.