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Kieron 'laughing and joking' on day he took life.

Byline: OLIVER CLAY

No sign that ex-Wrexham star planned suicide, inquest told A FORMER Wrexham and Caernarfon footballer had been laughing and joking in the hours before he was found dead in his car.

Kieron Durkan, 44, who famously once scored for the Dragons against Manchester United, had no history of mental illness and had shown no signs he intended to harm himself.

But on a wintry night in February this year, he was discovered in his car at Wigg Island car park in Runcorn. An inquest was told that his wife had reported him missing to he failed to reply to calls or texts, an inquest into his death heard.

Toxicology tests found high levels of carbon monoxide in his blood that were above fatal levels.

Detective Inspector Clare Coleman said there was no sign of trauma or injury and Mr Durkan was sat up with his head back on the headrest.

One of the crime scene investigation officers who arrived at the car park at 2am recognised Mr Durkan as having served as a police community support officer 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 and had never expressed any intent to kill himself.

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 was 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 at Ruthin 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 and going to live abroad. It was never mentioned that we wouldn't be 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 him buying items later used to take his own life from The Range store at around 10.30am.

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 and other family members.

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. He left no note. Mrs Durkan told the inquest she had sent a text at 2pm on February and had not received a reply but as she was in work had to wait until later to follow up with a call.

When she could not make contact, she set off to look for him in places he might usually be.

At 7pm she spoke to Mr Durkan's mother and became worried when she found out his mum had not heard from him either.

She said: "We message all day every day and I hadn't heard from him at all and that's why I was worried."

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.'.

Mr Durkan is warmly remembered as one the best football players to have come from Runcorn.

In January 1995, he grabbed the opening goal for Wrexham against Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford in a tie that ended with a 5-2 win for the Premier League giants.
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 17, 2018
Words:677
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