IN THE NEWS
July 4th, 2008
After a series of violent fights, one of the senior bodyguards to the Duchess of Cornwall shot himself. When his wife of 20 years left him, Sgt. Richard Fuller sent a text message to his wife, saying he “could not live without her.” Fuller was 55 and the father of four adult children.
Two weeks into the couple’s trial separation, Fuller shot himself with his hunting rifle at his home in Bremhill, Wilts
Fuller had been in charge of security at Raymill House, the six-bedroom home in Wiltshire the Duchess bought after her divorce from her first husband. Fuller had a commendation for bravery in an exemplary career that spanned 29 years. He was a trained armed response officer with Wiltshire Police.
According to the inquest, a complaint had been made against him in 2006 claiming he’d used excessive force during an arrest. He was acquitted of the charge, but the incident caused depression and weighed heavily on the man. He felt he was “losing control” of his personal and professional lives, and was prescribed anti-depressant drugs by the psychiatrist who was helping him.
The separation in February was the couples 2nd, the first was in January last year, due to Fuller’s aggressive behavior towards his wife. Mrs. Fuller spent time at their home to prepare meals and tend to their horse.On
March 9th, just two weeks after the 2nd trial separation, Mrs. Fuller, received the text message from her husband. Alarmed, she contacted a colleague in the police department and they found him dead of gunshot wounds in his bed.
As is customary, all guns were removed from his home after he took time off work with depression, and Fuller’s firearms permit was revoked in January 200.7. However, the permit was reinstated in May that year.
Mark Johnson, Sgt Fuller’s son from his first marriage, expressed concern at the inquest. He felt given his father’s mental state, he didn’t understand why the police had allowed his father to keep guns. After the inquest, Superintendant Matt Pullen of Wiltshire police stated “Because of the critical nature of a firearms officer’s duties, they are subject to constant, rigorous and regular checks, and there was no breach of any of these processes.”