A MAN set himself on fire in his own car on a Paignton pub car park after buying petrol containers from a nearby garage, an inquest heard.
The body of retired coach driver John Griffiths was recovered from his burnt out Renault Megane on the car park of the Polsham Arms public house in Lower Polsham Road, Paignton, in the evening of January 27.
Mr Griffiths' family told an inquest how there was no reason for him to take his own life as everything appeared normal.
In a statement his wife, Patricia, whom he cared for because of her mobility issues, said the former Shearings Holidays driver from St Helens had seemed fine.
She told the inquest on the day of his death he told her he was going to a meeting at Stover Golf Club where he was a member.
Further investigations revealed there was no such meeting planned at the club that day.
Mrs Griffiths said: "Shortly before 9pm I received a text from him. I replied, but he didn't send one back.
"At 9pm I texted him again and I tried to call him but there was no reply.
"My son received a text as well and we thought something was not right.
"At 10pm we were informed by police he was dead.
"His death came as such a shock because there was nothing wrong with him."
DS Andy Turner, from Torquay CID which investigated the death, told the inquest CCTV evidence revealed Mr Griffiths was seen that evening buying and filling two petrol containers from a garage near his home in Torquay Road, Paignton.
He said: "From the evidence at the scene, the CCTV footage from the garage and evidence from witnesses I concluded he took his own life by using petrol."
DS Turner said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the father-of-two's death and no-one else was involved.
Fire investigator Andrew Justice, from the fire service's headquarters in Exeter, added: "From my investigation it would appear petrol was used to ignite a fire inside the vehicle.
"The damage I observed was consistent with the use of petrol as an accelerant.
"I couldn't find matches or a cigarette lighter, but the damage was such that it is not unusual.
"However, there wouldn't have been any accidental ignition of petrol vapours. It is more likely it was lit on purpose."
Recording a verdict of self inflicted death, South Devon and Torbay coroner Ian Arrow said: "The fire occurred in the car park of the Polsham Arms pub.
"John Griffiths took two petrol cans from the petrol filling station into the cab of his car.
"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt he ignited the petrol inside the car and caused the severe burns which he died from.
"This was a self inflicted death."