An IT salesman from Lane End was pronounced dead after he was found unresponsive in his car in a quiet village, an inquest has heard.

Richard Oliver’s BMW was spotted on a farm track in the village of Fingest early in the morning on July 22 this year by a woman who was driving to the gym.

An inquest into the death of Mr Oliver, 44, on Wednesday heard how Irene Smith had left her home early to drive to the gym in Marlow when she noticed a car parked on a bridleway where there were usually no vehicles, near Fingest Lane.

She pulled over, ran towards the car and “banged” on the window, but the man inside – Mr Oliver – did not respond or move.

Mrs Smith’s statement added: “I went straight back home and told my husband Paul. We both went back and Paul called the police.”

Mr Smith’s statement said: “My wife left to go to the gym but she suddenly came back and said she had found someone in a car who she thought was dead. We went straight back. I couldn’t see into the car. I went to the neighbouring farm and used their phone to call the police.

“The car couldn’t have been there the day before because many horse riders use it.”

The call to the emergency services was made at 6.14am. Police arrived, smashed the car window and pulled Mr Oliver out to start CPR.

Paramedics arrived and took over, but he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene at 7.22am.

Mr Oliver’s wife Symone said she did not find it unusual that he was not at their Springbank Road home at that time because he is usually an early riser.

He had reportedly been struggling with his mental health and had taken eight months off work but had recently returned before he died.

Dr Joanna Scott, a GP at the Doctor’s House surgery in Marlow where Mr Oliver was a patient, said he had an anxiety disorder and had reported suicidal ideation in August 2019, as well as a diagnosis of anxiety with depression around the same time.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Oliver died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Senior coroner for Buckinghamshire Crispin Butler ruled that Mr Oliver’s death was suicide. He said: “This would have required a degree of preparation in advance. It is very, very sad because I don’t think there were any signposts about what he was going to do.

“He didn’t give any clues and didn’t leave any messages. This wasn’t some sort of experiment, it was intended.”

Addressing Mr Oliver’s wife and brother, who attended the inquest, Mr Butler added: “You should remember all the good things about Richard and not look for clues because I don’t think there were any.”

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