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Footballer joked about snow before taking his own life; man found dead in car park showed no sign he would harm himself.

Byline: OLIVER CLAY ECHO Reporter oliver.clay@trinitymirror.com @OLIVERCLAYRWWN

A FORMER footballer from Runcorn, who took his own life in February, had no history of mental illness and showed no signs he had any intention of harming himself - even joking about the snowy weather on the day he died.

Kieron Durkan, 44, of Roland Avenue, who once scored a goal for Wrexham against Manchester United in the FA Cup, was found dead in his car in Wigg Island car park, Runcorn, by his niece's boyfriend, Anthony Collins, shortly before 12.30am on Wednesday, February 28.

Mr Durkan's wife, Kay, had reported him missing earlier that day, after he did not reply to texts and calls, which was out of character, the inquest into his death heard yesterday.

Toxicology tests indicated carbon monoxide levels in Mr Durkan's blood were well over fatal levels.

Police officers found household items that had been used for the release of the gas inside the car, which was parked with the engine off.

Detective Inspector Clare Coleman said there was no sign of trauma or injury.

One of the crime scene investigation officers who arrived at the scene at 2am recognised Mr Durkan as having served as a police community support officer (PCSO) in Halton in 2004.

Coroner Claire Welch read evidence from Sophia Khan, Mr Durkan's GP, who said he had no history of mental health problems.

Mrs Durkan said her husband had been his "normal self " in the time leading up to his death. The only times when he had seemed not entirely himself were the Friday prior to his death, when he had been "quieter than usual" during drinks with relatives, and he had also pulled out of a family run the previous weekend due to a "migraine".

Mrs Durkan told the inquest they had been happy and had been talking about their future plans.

She said: "We were talking about growing old together."

Discussing the morning on the day he died, she said: "It had been snowing the night before and we were laughing and joking about how it never snowed in Runcorn.

"We had a bit of a chat and I said I loved him and then left for work."

PC Daniel Richardson, who examined CCTV footage of Mr Durkan's movements on February 27, found footage from Runcorn Shopping City showing Mr Durkan buying items later used to take his own life from The Range store, at around 10.30am, with Mr Durkan handing over a PS20 note and waiting for the change.

Footage obtained from the Old Quay Bridge, over the Manchester Ship Canal, showed Mr Durkan in a blue Proton car crossing at 11.11am.

An examination of his phone found a text message written - but not sent - that said he loved his wife.

The phone's internet search history showed multiple search terms relating to how to take one's own life and "painless" means to do so.

The coroner concluded that Mr Durkan took his own life and the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. She expressed her condolences to his family and said the shock of someone taking their own life in such circumstances must be "unimaginable". Mrs Welch said the CCTV evidence, the internet search history, toxicology and post mortem findings indicated Mr Durkan intended to take his own life by carbon monoxide poisoning. | Helplines: Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

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Kieron Durkan - took his own life in February
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 17, 2018
Words:615
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