THE father of a man who died from a gunshot wound to the head says his son's death will forever remain a mystery.

William Madsen died of a shotgun wound to the head in the garden of his home in Marlbank Road, Welland, an inquest in Stourport was told yesterday (Monday).

The 22-year-old who was a dive master and underwater cameraman by profession, died at around 3.45pm on April 9. A post-mortem, conducted at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester by a consultant pathologist, revealed he died of an extensive brain and head injury and trauma induced by gunshot. No evidence of drink or drugs was found in his body, toxicology reports showed.

No witnesses attended the inquest at the coroner's court but excerpts from their statements were read out by Worcestershire coroner Geraint Williams.

Mr Madsen's driving instructor was with him the day before he died, saying he was 'okay'. He described the lesson as being no different to any other although he said Mr Madsen was 'quite tired and rather quieter than usual' but said there was 'nothing untoward'.

Serena Fletcher, a teacher at the nearby primary school, was talking to somebody by the school gate when at about 3.45pm she heard a gunshot. "She described that as not being anything unusual in the part of the world where they live and they didn't think anything of it" Mr Williams said.

Alan Madsen, William's father, attended the inquest and said: "The course of action he chose to take is a mystery to us all. It came as a complete and utter, total shock. Clearly, there was something underlying but what it was to make him take the course of action he chose will forever remain a mystery to us."

Mr Williams said: "As his father has been kind enough to indicate to me, there appears to be no ready explanation as to why, if the act was done deliberately, it was so done and no other evidence in my hands as to precisely what happened on the day Mr Madsen died."

He said suicide should not be presumed by a coroner and that standard of proof to give this conclusion was that he be "sure". An open conclusion was recorded.