A MAN found dead in his car at a popular picnic site had mixed chemicals to produce deadly fumes, an inquest heard.

Robert Williams, 51, suffered carbon monoxide poisoning after taking chemicals from his workplace, cleaning fluids manufacturer McBride’s.

The inquest at Burnley Coroners’ Court heard a statement from Julie Davies, lead occupational health adviser at McBride’s, who said that Mr Williams, of Leet Close, Higham, had sent an email to the laboratory team on the morning on November 7 last year.

He requested the chemicals because he said he ‘had an idea that he didn’t think had been patented’.

On the night of November 7 he failed to return home and was reported missing by his wife around 10pm. His car was found in the early hours of November 8 on Barley New Road, in Roughlee, by PC Kenneth Bracewell.

In a statement to the coroner he said he found Mr Williams lying on the back seat of the car.

On opening the back door he said he was ‘taken aback by the very strong smell of some form of chemical’.

An ambulance was called but Mr Williams was pronounced dead at the scene.

His wife told the coroner Mr Williams had been the subject of a police inquiry the previous month but no details were given at the inquest.

She said: “I knew he was upset and I was worried about him, but I never imagined he was so depressed that he would end his own life.”

Pathologist Richard Shepherd told the inquest some internet forums dedicated to suicide recommended mixing the chemicals used by Mr Williams as a way to generate carbon monoxide.

Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a verdict of suicide.