Grandfather set himself on fire over £153k debts

First published in News

A GRANDFATHER doused himself with petrol before setting himself on fire in his family home after running up debts of more than £153,000, an inquest heard.

Ibrahim Omar put family photographs and other personal items in his daughter’s car and left the car keys outside his house before setting himself alight.

The 57-year-old’s body was discovered by firefighters in the front bedroom of his semi-detatched house in Gladstone Road, Halliwell, on August 22.

Two plastic petrol cans were found in the room.

An inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court yesterday heard Mr Omar had suffered “95 to 97 per cent full thickness burning and charring” to his whole body.

He was declared dead at the scene and post mortem tests revealed that he had been alive when the fire started.

Anthony Wilkinson, from the fire service, said the petrol igniting caused a blast that shattered the bedroom door and pushed the bedroom’s walls outwards.

He said he believed it was a “self-immolation” and Mr Omar had lit the fire himself.

The court heard that Mr Omar had kept his debts hidden from Mehrun, his wife of more than 35 years, and their three children.

Loans and credit cards were thought to be the reason behind the debt which had been run up over a number of years.

Statements read out from relatives described him as a family-orientated man who was head of the household and wanted to look after his family.

The former petrol station cashier was suffering from depression and had told his GP that he had trouble sleeping due to his anxiety over money.

But, although they knew he had been treated for depression, Mr Oman’s family were unaware of the extent of his illness.

His son, Imran Omar, said: “It has been a massive shock to the family and the community. He was a very popular, happy and enthusiastic man. He was a much-loved father and grandfather and will be sadly missed.”

Deputy coroner Alan Walsh recorded a verdict that Mr Omar took his own life while suffering from depression.

He said his debts had been made for the benefit of the family but had escalated out of control.

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