Original article no longer available
Jun 25 2008
A FATHER hanged himself at the spot where a bird of prey he owned was buried a year previously, an inquest heard today.
Frankie Hemming, 36, was reported missing by girlfriend Tammy Jones after jumping out of her car following a row during a supermarket shopping trip with their 18-month-old daughter, and her two other children.
Mr Hemming, a mechanic who was out of work due to mental health problems, later contacted Ms Jones by text message asking her to drop off £100 and a folder of documents to his home in Dan-y-Graig Terrace, Blaenllechau, south Wales. She did so, and he later telephoned her saying he was going to see a friend in Hereford.
But Ms Jones became concerned when, in the early hours of the next day, September 21 2007, she received a text message reading: “I’m sorry. I will always love you and the girls xxxx.”
He then asked 30-year-old Ms Jones to contact his best friend, named only as Carl, the inquest in Miskin, south Wales, heard.
She continued to try calling her partner, and contacted his relatives, but was unable to trace him.
Carl then visited Ms Jones, showing her a text message from Mr Hemming on his mobile phone which read: “Tell Tammy and the girls I love them very much.
“Tell them not to worry – I’m with Gloria.”
In a statement read to the inquest, Ms Jones said she then knew immediately where Mr Hemming was. She said Gloria was her partner’s Harris hawk, who had been buried in a picturesque spot on a mountainside at Llanwonno a year previously.
She said in her statement that at the time, Mr Hemming said if he ever committed suicide “that’s where I would do it”.
Ms Jones contacted police again and they went to Llanwonno, where Mr Hemmings’ body was found hanging from a tree.
The inquest heard Mr Hemming had a troubled relationship with Ms Jones, and that his mother started court proceedings before his death over access to her granddaughter.
Mr Hemming was taking antidepressants and had previously taken an overdose of painkillers. Codeine was found in his blood after his death, but only at a therapeutic level, a pathologist said.
Coroner Philip Walters recorded a verdict of suicide saying: “It’s very difficult in these circumstances to understand why somebody goes along this route, and does what they do.
“You never really seem to get to the bottom of it.
“Minor arguments tend to turn into big things with people, and family relationships break down over trivial things.”
Members of Mr Hemmings’ family attended the inquest but were too upset to speak about his death.