Wigan man's body found by police using What Three Words mobile phone app

A lorry driver who took his own life left the precise location where he could be found using a mobile phone app, an inquest heard.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 9:14 am

Karl Gaskell, 33, went to the “extremely remote” site early on the morning of August 23.

An inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard he sent a text message to his father Anthony Gaskell and left letters with details of his location.

Mr Gaskell reported his son to be missing and police officers used the What Three Words app to find Karl next to a man-made hut.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bolton Coroner's Court

He could not be revived and was pronounced dead a short time later.

A post-mortem examination found he died by suspension by ligature. No drugs or alcohol were in his system.

The inquest heard Karl, who lived in Abram with his dad, loved bushcraft and went camping in the Lake District, enjoyed spending time with his dog and made knives.

He had no diagnosed mental health issues but had been severely affected by the death of his mother in 2016.

While he appeared to be confident, he had concerns about his image and it affected his relationships.

He had also been helping police with an investigation, though details of this were not revealed in court.

Mr Gaskell saw him briefly at home on the evening of August 22, but the inquest heard he did not notice if he was more withdrawn than usual.

He heard Karl’s alarm for work at 5.30am the following morning and his car start shortly afterwards.

But at 8.30am he saw a text message from Karl which made him concerned and he found handwritten notes in his bedroom, which included his location using What Three Words.

He alerted police, who found Karl at the hut.

Senior coroner Timothy Brennand recorded Karl died by suicide, after learning about the location where he was found and notes he left expressing his intention.

He said: “A part of the tragedy that the family understandably express is that if Karl in fact had chosen to turn to them, they would have been nothing other than supportive and encouraging and had that happened, it might well have meant that Karl could have been guided into a more positive frame of mind.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here