Dad 'with heart of gold' sent texts to loved ones before taking his own life — (Hull Daily Mail)

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Hull Daily Mail

Posted: September 13, 2013

By Emma Wright

A MAN sent moving texts to loved ones before he was found hanging at his house. Richard Duncan, 40, was found by his sister and girlfriend at his home in Brough.

An inquest into his death, which was held this week, found the cricket-lover and father-of-one had threatened to take his own life before.

At the court hearing, his sister Amanda Osborne described him as having a “heart of gold” and someone who “would do anything for anyone”. She broke down in tears when assistant coroner Rosemary    Baxter read a statement Mrs Osborne had previously made to police about discovering Mr Duncan.

Ms Baxter said: “Your sister Carol Elliott said Richard had sent her a text message which said ‘I’m sorry, I’m not a bad man, please forgive me. I love you, don’t hate me’ and then something about being short of money and lonely.

“While you were at work, you texted Richard to say you were worried and had no response.

“You went with Fiona Godfrey, who he had a relationship with, to his house in Brough and saw the house in darkness, so thought he might have gone to bed.”

The two women saw his body through the letterbox and called police.

Mr Duncan, who worked as a plumber, suffered from depression and had previously said he would take his own life.

When police arrived at his home on May 10, he had done exactly that.

He had also left a note, but this was not read out in court.

Mrs Osborne said: “He genuinely had a heart of gold and was someone who would do anything for anyone.

“He had a huge passion for cricket and I have happy memories of him in cricket whites with a big smile on his face.”

Mr Duncan has a teenager daughter Beth, 16, from a previous relationship and was in a relationship with Fiona Godfrey, who he had met in 2010.

But he had sought help from his GP for depression, and told mental health services he had been abused.

Dr Naila Loqueman, a GP at Brough and South Cave Medical Practice, said: He said he had suffered abuse but didn’t elaborate on this.

“He was quite embarrassed.”

Mr Duncan loved cricket and had previously played for the North Ferriby team.

He was also greatly admired by his daughter Beth.

Speaking to the Mail after the inquest, Beth said: “He was a very good dad. “He didn’t mean any harm with what he did.

“He was funny and did a lot for me. He will always be in my thoughts and he will be missed by everyone. Never forget.”

Assistant coroner Ms Baxter said as a post mortem had only found small doses of paracetamol and antidepressants in Mr Duncan’s blood, he was of sound mind and would have been aware of his actions when he decided to hang himself.

She said: “There was nothing in the toxicology report, that could have affected his cognitive functions, so I have to conclude he knew what he was doing and knew his actions would lead to his subsequent death.

“I believe he wished to take his own life and therefore record a verdict that Richard Duncan took his own life.”