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Depression led to actor's son killing himself

Police at the scene of the tragedy last September. Picture: PAUL DENNIS
Police at the scene of the tragedy last September. Picture: PAUL DENNIS

THE eldest son of The Dam Busters movie star Richard Todd shot himself in the head while suffering depression, an inquest was told.

The inquest into the death of Peter Todd, of Old Road, Wateringbury, near Maidstone, on heard the 53-year-old racing executive had been depressed and had told his wife several times that he might take his own life.

Mr Todd's body was found in his car in the car park at East Malling village hall on September 21 last year.

His widow, Jill, told the inquest at in Maidstone, there had been difficulties in the marriage and she had left once before but returned.

The court also heard he had warned her he might take his own life if she left again.

The death of his half brother, Seamus, who also shot himself, had affected him too, she said.

He had left her a suicide note addressed to her saying: “I am so sorry that I can’t face life alone without you.”

Mid Kent and Medway coroner Roger Sykes recorded a verdict that he had taken his own life.

In a statement, Mrs Todd said: “Peter was a kind and dedicated person who had been troubled by the complexities of depression over a considerable period of time.

“Peter’s decision to end his own life is a devastating shock that his family, friends and colleagues are still struggling to come to terms with.”

Veteran actor Richard Todd, 86, now lives in

Little Humby in Lincolnshire.

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