A HALLOWEEN reveller from Sheffield drowned in a river while dressed as a vampire after becoming ‘jealous’ when his friend danced with another man, an inquest heard.
Christopher Akers, aged 22, of Castledine Gardens, Wincobank, was pulled from the River Don near Meadowhall two days after he was last seen in Players sports bar on West Street, Sheffield.
Christopher’s friend Jessica Skeans told Sheffield Coroner’s Court he had feelings for her but she didn’t feel the same way. He asked her in the bar: “Why can’t you dance with me like that?”
Jessica said Christopher later sent her a text telling her he was near a river.
The inquest heard Christopher had been celebrating Fright Night in Sheffield city centre last October and was jovial, happy and in a good mood before his death.
Pathologist Dr Kim Suvarna, who conducted a post mortem examination, said Christopher had drunk twice the legal driving limit in alcohol and also had an enlarged heart.
Dr Suvarna said the shock of suddenly being immersed in cold water would have affected Christopher’s heart rate and blood pressure, causing death almost immediately.
In a statement read to the court, Christopher’s mum Dianne Akers said her son went out at 6.45pm, telling her not to put the chain on the front door.
The next morning his dad Jeffrey noticed Christopher’s bed hadn’t been slept in.
Christopher was dressed as Dracula, wearing a black wig, shirt, cape and trousers and a red tie. His face was painted white with fake blood lines.
A former Hinde House School pupil, he worked as an accounts assistant at school equipment suppliers K&M Wholesale, in Halfway.
He was a Sheffield Wednesday season ticket holder and had SWFC tattooed in gothic letters along his forearm.
Jessica said Christopher revealed his unrequited love for her four years ago.
“In the past this has caused a little bit of friction,” she said.
“Chris had recently been feeling down and told me he wasn’t enjoying work.”
Jessica said Christopher ‘got a bit jealous’ when she danced with someone else in Players.
“We exchanged words and he said, ‘Why can’t you dance with me like that?’ I said, ‘Because I know what it would cause you to think’.”
Christopher then vanished before sending Jessica texts.
She said: “He texted me saying he was at home and near a river. I told him to go home and stop being stupid.”
Assistant deputy coroner Louise Slater recorded a narrative verdict, adding: “I’m not satisfied we know the circumstances of what happened immediately prior to Christopher’s death.”
The coroner said his death was ‘a tragic and sad loss of someone so very young’.