Grandad found dead in lagoon
FORMER taxi driver Trevor Barrett was found in the lagoon where his grandson almost died three years earlier.
Disabled Mr Barrett, 75, of Edale Moor, Liden, was found in Liden Lagoon last November 24 after his wife Joan reported him missing, an inquest in Salisbury heard.
Mr Barrett, who suffered from a hip injury, had been using his mobility scooter to walk the family dogs when it tipped him into the water.
Mr Barrett’s head and much of his body was submerged in the water and the scooter was on rocks beside the lake when officers arrived at the scene.
The former RAF man was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead early on November 24 last year.
Alcohol was found in his blood and the inquest heard he had struggled with drinking since his grandson nearly died after they became separated on a walk by the same lake in 2010.
Wiltshire assistant coroner David Coward recorded a verdict of accidental death. The hearing was told Mr Barrett had been using the mobility scooter for around 18 months after breaking his hip.
Mr Coward said: “Trevor was intoxicated when in the early hours of Sunday morning or late in the evening of Saturday he took his dogs for a walk at Liden Lagoon near his home.
“The scooter had no lights and the conditions were dark.
“It seems Trevor failed to react to steer the scooter when the path by the lake changed direction and this caused him and the scooter to travel downwards towards the lake and some grass.”
The scooter then hit a divot, throwing Mr Barrett onto some rocks, where he hit his head before falling in the water.
Earlier that evening his wife of 50 years, Joan Barrett, had returned from the doctors to their home accompanied by their daughter, Shelley Hall.
Mr Barrett was on the sofa when they returned. Both noticed he was drunk. Mrs Barrett went to bed and Mrs Hall left.
Mrs Barrett, who described her husband as a “gentle, loving and kind man”, awoke in the night and realised Mr Barrett, his mobility scooter and their three dogs were gone.
As it was not unusual for him to walk them in the night she did not worry but when the dogs returned without him she called the police. At around 4am on November 24 PC Kevin Payne found Mr Barrett in the lake.
The inquest heard Mr Barrett’s grandson fell into the same lake and nearly died.
In April 2010 the pair went for a walk but became separated when Mr Barrett stopped to talk to someone.
When he returned home alone without his grandson the boy’s mother, Mrs Hall, rushed out to find him.
She found him face down in the lake and pulled him out but he was left in an induced coma and paralysed for five days.
“The fact that dad blamed himself depressed him and changed him,” said Mrs Hall.