Search icon


16th Dec 2021

Wife couldn’t fulfil husband’s dying wish because police forgot to give her his suicide note

Kieran Galpin

‘Alex no longer has a voice but I do and I would like GMP and NWAS to address these failings’

A father of four was cremated despite wishing to be buried with family photos after police officers failed to give his suicide note to his wife.

Brian Alex Reynolds, commonly referred to as Alex, was found dead at his home in Rushmere Drive, Bury, on March 9 despite a 999 call five hours earlier from a concerned friend.


A note left in the living room contained the last wishes of the 39-year-old alongside a message to his wife, Victoria, reports the Manchester Evening News.

In the note written on sheet music of the couple’s favourite song, Dreams by Gabrielle, Reynolds said his wife “made all his dreams come true”.

But Victoria only found out about the note nine weeks after his death and after she had cremated him against his wishes.

Victoria had presumed her late husband was angry with her, which “took a huge toll” on her mental health and left her “distraught”.

She detailed her husband’s struggle with depression at an inquest, noting that it began when he contracted meningitis in 2017. The salesman reportedly suffered from weekly migraines, leading to being furloughed in March of 2020.

Eventually, Alex lost his job was diagnosed with depression in November last year.

Alex had reportedly become paranoid, claiming that Victoria was having an affair with their son’s football coach. Victoria also had no way of knowing if Alex was taking his medication as he chose not to disclose details about his treatment.

Concerned for the family’s wellbeing, Victoria and the kids stayed with her brother from March 5.

On March 9, Victoria visited Alex, where they shared a cuddle and proclaimed their love for one another.

Victoria had become concerned after texting Alex throughout the evening and eventually phoned 999 at 7:16 pm after her husband instructed her not to come to the house.

When the police arrived just before 8:00 pm, Alex had hung himself.

Liam Kendrick, NWAS’ acting service delivery manager, said that an ambulance became available just after six but an error at dispatch sent it somewhere else.

While Detective Inspector Nathan Percival found the note, police officers never gave it to Victoria.

“It’s tragic. I do apologise, it certainly shouldn’t happen like that,” he said.

Now, an inquest at Rochdale Coroner’s Court has been issued in the hopes of clearing the situation.

With the inquest due to conclude tomorrow, a full statement via Victoria’s lawyers reads:

“I have been left completely devastated by the loss of Alex.

“I now have four children to raise alone. They have all been absolutely incredible in the way they have dealt with everything and I feel extremely proud of them all. However, it is clear they will be significantly affected by this for the rest of their lives.

“I truly believe that, if the ambulance or police had got to Alex in time that day, he would have got better from this.

“Our family has been through a terrible ordeal. An ordeal we shall never recover from.

“The additional confusion from the initial failings, the lack of police contact and the fact that the note and photos were never mentioned or provided to me for nine weeks has taken a huge toll on my mental health and that of my children as we can never have complete closure knowing that we never had the opportunity to fulfil his final wishes due to errors of the police.

“Alex and I were the best of friends and always needed each other. I feel lost without him. Alex no longer has a voice but I do and I would like GMP and NWAS to address these failings.”

Read the full story at Manchester Evening News.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please make use of these critical resources:

Related links: