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article imageTo Protest Eviction, Man Commits Gruesome Suicide and Cuts Head Off With Chainsaw

By Debra Myers     Nov 20, 2008 in Crime
A desperate David Phyall, 50 of Bishopstoke in the UK, used an electric chainsaw to cut his own head off to protest his eviction from a block of flats set to be demolished. Phyall had refused to leave his one-bedroom flat and had been taken to court.
Bishopstoke, UK - David Phyall, 50, was the last remaining tenant in a building that was set to be demolished to make way for a massive redevelopment in the area. Even though he had been ordered to vacate, Phyall refused to leave his one-bedroom flat.
Two days before his body was found, it's reported that he "carefully planned" his suicide, as a way to make a statement. What follows is gruesome.
Phyall plugged-in an electric chainsaw and set it on a timer. Using sellotape, he taped the trigger to the 'on' position, then secured the chainsaw to a table leg to hold it steady. Phyall rested the saw against his neck and waited for the timer to go off.
The Black and Decker chainsaw sliced through his neck in an instant but kept going for a further 15 minutes.
Mr. Phyall's parents had gone to the flat and after discovering that the door was locked from the inside, called Sergeant Mark Carter. Using a crowbar, he forced the door open only to find the grisly scene.
Phyall was dressed only in underpants and a T-shirt, and covered in blood. Sgt. Carter said, 'The carpet was covered by a layer of blood and the ceiling above my head was also splattered with blood."
Carter goes on to tell that the chainsaw was embedded in Phyall's neck, and it had quit running three quarters of the way through the man's neck. He saw that the trigger to the chainsaw was taped to the "on" position, as well as the saw being tied to the table leg. The saw and the timer were still plugged-in, although not running.
"I have never come across an incident quite this graphic."
At the inquest, Detective Sergeant Mark Huxford continued telling the details. He said that the head was still attached by the right shoulder and his head was lying to the left. Because of the way the chainsaw had spun while running, a large area of the carpet was covered with blood.
John Phyall, David's father, told the hearing that he had no idea that his son meant to kill himself. 'We had seen him a week prior to his death and he had appeared cheerful and had been making jokes. His death was totally unexpected.'
Deputy Central Hampshire Simon Burge who recorded David's death as a suicide, felt that this manner of how Phyall had chosen to kill himself was to 'make a statement'. He described the scene as "appalling" and "bizarre". 'Mr Phyall had thought through how he was going to commit suicide very carefully - he went to a great deal of trouble to rig up the chainsaw knowing full well the result would be fatal.
If his death was to make a statement about the injustice of being evicted from his home of 8 years, he certainly accomplished that. What's even sadder is that he turned down 11 offers of a new home.
More about Suicide, Chainsaw, Eviction
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