Rochdale, Heywood Express
May 1996

A father-of-two who was found dead in a fume-filled car outside his Heywood girlfriend’s home was being pursued by the Child Support Agency. Police discovered several payment demands from the CSA strewn about the Ford Orion car in which Alan Grantham was found slumped. A pipe had been fixed from the inside to the exhaust.

Before he died Mr Grantham, aged 39, had left a lengthy message on his girlfriend’s answerphone. Police are now examining both the papers and the message. At an inquest in Rochdale this week deputy coroner Dennis Everett did not disclose the contents of the tape. But he added: “Papers from the CSA for monies outstanding were found in the car.”

Policewoman Dorothy Orr said she found the vehicle parked near a school with its engine running at around 1.20am on Monday, 6 May, in Magdala Street, Heywood. There were four people in the middle of the road near the car when she arrived. In a statement she said: “A piece of black plastic piping had been found running from the exhaust into the car. There was also smoke billowing out of the car’s open doors. The piping lay in the road by the time I arrived.”

WPC Orr saw Mr Grantham in the driver’s seat, which was reclined. His eyes were closed. She called an ambulance, and checked Mr Grantham for a pulse, but found none. Police later called at the terraced home of Miss Lyndsey Scholes, the dead man’s girlfriend. She gave police a tape from her telephone answering machine.