Man who torched house felt ‘hopeless’

The scene of the fire on Sefton Road, Bryn
The scene of the fire on Sefton Road, Bryn

A TROUBLED Wigan dad died after locking himself in the house and setting it alight.

An inquest heard that Michael Dean was overcome by fumes after he barricaded himself inside his Bryn home and started a blaze.

Bolton Coroner’s Court was told the father-of-three had been stressed in the months before his death because of debts and problems with access to his autistic son.

And when his wife Beverley Harrison-Dean had left after a row, he bolted the doors, started a fire and went upstairs to lie in the bath.

A retired fireman was hailed a hero by the coroner, for his repeated but vain attempts at rescuing the 49-year-old who died in hospital with his family by his side the next day.

Mr Dean was said to be greatly troubled by not being able to see his son from a previous marriage.

It was decided that contact would start with Mr Dean writing him letters, but his current wife told the court they did not know if the boy ever saw the correspondence.

Mrs Harrison-Dean added that, in the weeks before his death, she noticed that her usually laid-back husband had become “snappy” and would no longer give her a hug.

But she put it down to his working more hours as a delivery driver to settle a debt he owed to his parents and brother.

Mrs Harrison-Dean said: “The problems he had left him feeling worthless and hopeless.”

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