Card fraud suspect shot himself after being arrested by police inquest told


A former company director who shot himself in a hotel car park had been arrested on suspicion of card fraud shortly before his death, an inquest has heard.

Stewart Page, 60, from Cuxwold, near Caistor, died from head injuries sustained in an incident at the Briarfields Hotel, Titchwell, Norfolk, on the afternoon of November 11, 2012.

An inquest into his death, which began in Norwich on Monday afternoon, heard that fears for the 60-year-old’s safety were raised at around 7pm the previous night by staff at the Hoste Arms, in Burnham Market, where Mr Page had been staying

Inquiries with Lincolnshire Police revealed Mr Page had been arrested for “financial issues” weeks before.

He was tracked down at Briarfields after his car was spotted by a PCSO.

The court was told Mr Page had been arrested in the moments before he died on suspicion of card fraud. He had admitted to officers that he had fraudulently withdrawn £4,000 on credit cards in his ex-wife’s name.

A police officer had cleared items from a car Mr Page had been using and turned to see him with a “long-barrelled weapon” against his head. His fingers were also around the trigger.

Although the officer shouted at Mr Page to stop, and attempted to kick the weapon away, a single shot was fired.

Mr Page - who the court heard had earlier told officers he did not wish to harm himself - was pronounced dead at the scene.

The jury heard inquiries had revealed he had been detained by Lincolnshire Police officers several weeks earlier.

As previously reported, the case was initially referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because of the contact between officers and Mr Page.

But the IPCC sent the file back to Norfolk Police a few days later.

The Coroner concluded: “On November 11, 2012, Mr Page died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound in the car park of the Briarfields Hotel, Titchwell, while under police arrest and while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

“The information that Mr Page had a firearm with him was not communicated and so the jury came to the conclusion that Mr Page killed himself.”