A ‘DEVOTED, loving’ man who hanged himself by the Mersey left a suicide note that contained the three songs he wanted to be played at his funeral.
Plumber Darren Hodgkins who, according to his family, ‘lived for music’, left the note at James Lee House where he had been staying since a relationship ended.
Warrington Coroner’s Court heard last Wednesday how the 42-year-old was found by teenager Christopher Hall hanging in the derelict building of the Mississippi Showboat on March 24.
His family told the court that Mr Hodgkins first began having problems at 14 when he began sniffing glue before moving on to drugs while growing up in Oldham.
He moved to Warrington where he entered rehabilitation treatment at Fearnhead Cross Medical Centre, before being discharged after a successful recovery.
Mr Hodgkins then began a happier life, according to brother Mark, and met Lorraine Davenport in 2007, with whom he had a two-and-a-half year relationship.
However, tragedy struck when Mr Hodgkins was sent to prison for two weeks in March after failing to respond to a summons for motoring fines Mark said his brother had been terrified about the
prospect of going to jail and told the court: “He knew all of the good work would be undone in prison.”
Mr Hodgkins’ relationship with Ms Davenport, described as ‘up and down’, ended during his jail term, and she told the court he had threatened suicide before.
“I just never thought he would have the guts to go through with it,” she said.
But on March 24 Mr Hodgkins, whose father Kenneth had died three years earlier, called Ms Davenport, of Rylands Drive, and said ‘I hope you feel guilty for the rest of your life’.
He was later found hanged by Mr Hall who at first thought the body was a dummy left for a prank.
Staff at James Lee House later found the note which listed three songs and the line ‘these are to be played at my funeral’.
Coroner Janet Napier recorded a verdict of suicide and said: “He was very well thought of, a very capable man with a lot of love to give.”