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Human fireball's horrific suicide.

Byline: By Sara Wallis

A distraught man committed suicide by turning himself into a human fireball, an inquest heard.

Martin Reynolds, 31, doused himself with petrol, walked to his aunt's house near his own on Waterville Road, North Shields, and set himself on fire.

His cousin Nicola Clayton told the Newcastle inquest: "Martin came round that afternoon to speak to my mum and he was OK but he was getting upset about something and was crying."

He left and returned later. Family friend Jennifer Keddy said: "He knocked on the front door and when I answered he said `Jennifer I have doused myself in petrol'.

"He was carrying a petrol can and a wooden cross under his arm and I could smell the petrol. It was all over him, even on his head.

"I asked him to give me his lighter but he pushed me against the wall and told me to go and get Debbie, his aunt."

Ms Keddy added: "When she came to the door he got the lighter and lit it and the flames went up."

Former girlfriend Lilian Wilson, of Edinburgh, said: "I was living with him at the time and I think he was worried that I was going to leave him but I had told him not to worry.

"He had been on anti-depressants for a while when we lived in Edinburgh but he hadn't taken them for a while."

Newcastle Coroner David Mitford recorded a verdict of suicide.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2003
Words:245
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