Man died burning a barbecue indoors

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FRIENDS of a Scarborough man who killed himself by lighting a barbecue in an enclosed room say they cannot understand why he did it.

Mark Pickard, 49, of Harley Close, was found by his girlfriend at a house he was renovating in Oxford Street.

During his inquest yesterday his girlfriend Amber Cannon and friend Oliver Hey gave evidence saying Mr Pickard had never even mentioned taking his own life.

The inquest heard that on March 22, Mr Pickard, who was a painter and decorator, purchased a large barbecue from B&Q, along with bags of charcoal.

He then shut himself in the smallest upstairs room the property, before lighting the barbecue.

Consultant pathologist Dr Afaf El-Hag confirmed Mr Pickard died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

His girlfriend Miss Cannon told the Coroner Michael Oakley she had been worried about Mr Pickard on the day in question having not heard from him.

She said: “I went round the house in Oxford street at around 6.30pm. I had to force the door open. I ran through all the rooms and saw his keys in the back door. I just knew then he had done something.

“I ran up the stairs and I started smelling smoke. I noticed the door on the right was closed. As soon as I opened it loads of thick smoke came out the room and I saw him lying on the bed.

“I shook him and tried to get him up. I knew he had gone but I just kept trying.”

Miss Cannon said Mr Pickard had been stressed about the renovations but “not enough to get him down like that”.

His friend Mr Hey confirmed Mr Pickard had been okay in the run up to his death. He said: “Generally he was always happy. He was the life of the party.

“He had never suggested to me that he would take his own life. I have no idea why he did it.

“Me and his friends have talked about it quite a lot since and we just don’t know. We can’t think of a reason.

“Things weren’t bad for him, he had a young girlfriend and lots of mates that would do anything for him.”

After hearing the evidence Mr Oakley said: “What has happened in is unexplained in terms of why he did it, but it is clear to me that this act was deliberate.”

Mr Oakley recorded a verdict that “Mr Pickard killed himself by means of burning charcoal and the ingestion of the fumes”.