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UK Gardener Found Dead After Hearing “Butt Dial” Conversation Between Wife and New Lover

Realizing that the ex you’re still in love with has moved on causes a different kind of hurt, especially if the split gets classified as a marital separation or divorce. That kind of pain can only be exasperated by one thing, actually being able to see or hear your ex-partner flirting with their new beau. For 49 year old Gareth Rees, the heartache of hearing his estranged wife flirting with her new lover through an accidental butt dial drove him to an alleged suicide by drowning.

Claire, the spouse in question, was at a lunch date with her new boyfriend Glen Ryan and realized the blunder about 4 minutes into the accidental call. Claire ditched the date and sped over to the luxury property she knew Rees was house sitting in order to rectify the situation. By the time she arrived at the home, Rees was already past the point of resuscitation.

Claire spoke during the inquest at Working Coroners Court and stated “I am not a technology person but I think instead of pressing the send button while texting Gareth I accidentally pressed the dial button, I do not know exactly what he was able to hear.” When she received a text from the deceased stating that he was going for a ‘dip in the pool’ she figured it was a joke because of Rees’ lifelong water phobia.

“If the pocket dial had anything to do with his death, that is something I have to live with. I have had to make my peace with it.”

- Claire Rees

After 11 rocky years of marriage, Claire ended her relationship with the deceased and it’s said that Rees confided in his family that the end of the marriage felt like a weight was lifted off his shoulders. After just a few weeks of separation he began to suspect that his wife was involved with someone else, which naturally left him angry. Earlier in the morning on the day of his death, Rees had spent time researching Claires new love interest on the internet. Detective Inspector Jo Smith stated that she found messages from Rees challenging Claire about moving on so early and he told mutual friends that he could not live without Claire. Rees’ loved ones were able to note that their marriage was coming to a natural end, but he struggled to find peace in that fact.


"I have no evidence that there was an intention to end his life, he had no known history of mental health problems and no note was left."

- Assistant Coroner Dr. Henderson

Paramedics arrived just 9 minutes after Claire found the body and made the call but despite their best efforts Gareth Rees was pronounced dead poolside at 3:45pm GMT.

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