The inquest at Cockermouth heard how Mr Ward, who suffered panic attacks and anxiety, had spent time off work with depression and had been trying to reduce his alcohol intake.Area coroner for Cumbria Kally Cheema concluded that he took his own life. A toxicology report also found 232 mcgms of alcohol per 100 mls of blood – the equivalent of nearly three times the drink-drive limit – and traces of anti-depressants in his system.He summed up his spirituality in a contemporary classic on prayer, Yes to Prayer (1975, awarded the Collins Religious Book prize).After his retirement to Gosforth he won more admirers with his Staircase for Silence (1977, showing his love for Charles Peguy), his Night Sky of the Lord (1980, the churches' need to heed the Jewish experience) and Scaffolding for the Spirit (1987, insights into St John's Gospel).Ecclestone was the son of a Stoke-on-Trent pottery painter.His mother, more radical than his father, used to put up a Home Rule for Ireland poster in their window but removed it before father returned from work.
SHORTLY after the bombing of Hiroshima a protest procession wound its way through the blitzed East End streets of Sheffield.
The day before his death he had starting drinking early in the evening, going out later to buy more alcohol. Mr Ward’s GP Peter Winterbottom said Mr Ward first visited him in 2012 complaining of panic attacks and anxiety.
Dr Winterbottom referred him to Unity – an alcohol recovery service – for his drinking.
By the time police recovered his body 20 miles away in the idyllic beauty spot of Boot in Eskdale, the death toll had reached at least a dozen.
His victims included several pensioners out shopping, most of them shot in the face or head at point-blank range either with a shotgun or a high-powered telescopic rifle. Three of them were in a critical condition last night while five others were described as being in a serious condition.