George Falder inquest: Pirelli oven death 'not suicide' says wife

George Falder
Image caption George Falder, of Carlisle, was a father of two

The wife of a man who died in an industrial steam oven has told an inquest she does not believe he killed himself.

George Falder, 48, was found in the autoclave at the Pirelli factory in Carlisle in September 2012.

He had been a bit "low" but not as depressed as he had been on previous occasions, Andrea Falder said.

The inquest into his death was told Mr Falder had a history of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Coroner Robert Chapman asked Mrs Falder if she believed her husband would have committed suicide by entering the autoclave.

Mrs Falder said: "He would never have put me through this. He would never have put David Arnot through this."

Earlier in the inquest the jury heard that Mr Arnot, a colleague, shut the door to the machine not knowing Mr Falder was inside.

'Depressed again'

In a statement from Mrs Falder which was read to the inquest she said: "George was quite incapable of formulating some bizarre plan to have himself killed by work mates."

The inquest heard from Mr Falder's doctor, Robert Lightfoot, who said he had stopped taking antidepressants 10 months ago but had been feeling depressed again.

Dr Lightfoot said he had responded positively to their discussion and was "looking forward" to getting better.

The inquest in Carlisle has heard how Mr Falder would sometimes enter the oven to clean it.

But the detective who led the investigation into his death, Det Insp Furzana Nazir, said photographs from the scene suggested the area did not need cleaning.

"There's a tiny bit of debris but it would not have been been visible from the door, 17 feet inside the autoclave," she said.

The inquest has heard how, since Mr Falder's death, Pirelli has changed the rules on how the autoclave is used.

It can reach temperatures of 145C (293F) and is used to harden rubber-coated rings used to strengthen tyres.

The hearing continues.

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