Mum’s agony at son’s death

Ian Foster
Ian Foster
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THE heartbroken mother of a man who set himself on fire said he did “everyone a favour” by ending his life.

Ian Foster. 28, from Badgers Walk, Lytham, suffered from mental health problems and set himself alight on North Pier before plunging into the sea.

The act led to his death in the specialist burns unit at Wythenshaw Hospital, Manchester, in September 2006.

During an inquest, it was revealed how on a number of occasions, Mr Foster had acted in a manner in which his mother Sheila Rothwell believed he wanted to take his own life.

He was first interviewed about his behaviour after he claimed to have a bomb strapped to him and was threatening to detonate it in August 2006.

However, police did not find a device on Mr Foster and he later divulged to doctors, after he was arrested, how he had posed as a suicide bomber because he wanted a police marksman to shoot him.

It is also believed Mr Foster made many other attempts to take his own life.

Mrs Rothwell said: “He was in a very bad road accident when he drove a brand new Audi up to 80 mph on Garstang Road and that was believed to be a suicide attempt.”

Later on in life Mr Foster tried to stow himself away on an aeroplane at Heathrow airport, attempted to hang himself at Preston Prison and was found in a pool of his own blood in the bath by his stepfather.

After listening to his phone calls, Mrs Ashworth says she “begged and pleaded” for him to be admitted to the Parkwood Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The 62-year-old feared her son would take his own life and wanted him to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

But he was never sectioned, meaning doctors and nurses at Parkwood had no power to prevent Mr Foster from leaving the ward.