Racehorse trainer shot himself, coroner told

The Oxford Times: Old County Hall Old County Hall

A RACEHORSE trainer and nephew of a former Prime Minister shot himself after suffering severe depression.

James Douglas-Home, 61, of Wantage, “shot himself in the head” and died as a result of gunshot wounds, Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

Opening an inquest into the death, coroner Darren Salter said Mr Douglas-Home’s body was discovered by his sister, Sarah Dent, on May 8. She went into the house in Park Lane, East Lockinge, near Wantage, and found his body in a bedroom.

Mr Douglas-Home, a widower, had been suffering severe depression over the past two months, the coroner said.

Mr Douglas-Home was born in Edinburgh and trained racehorses for about a decade in the 1970s and 1980s before going on to work as a journalist.

He came from a famous aristocratic family. His uncle was Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who was Conservative Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964. His father, William Douglas-Home, Sir Alec’s brother, was a playwright and politician. Gold Cup-winning trainer Henrietta Knight, who employed Mr Douglas-Home’s late wife Christine as her secretary for 27 years, said he was well-liked and a “fun-loving man”.

He is survived by a daughter, Emily, who lives in London.

A full inquest into his death will be held on August 26.

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