Park ranger targeted by young yobs found hanged

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A park ranger found hanged at his home had been a ‘target’ for trouble-makers, an inquest heard.

Matthew Tracy, who worked at Rother Valley Country Park, had confronted youths who rode motorbikes illegally on parkland and his Peugeot 207 car was later vandalised a number of times.

A brick was also thrown through the window of his Killamarsh home .

The park ranger, of Sheffield Road, Rotherham, was due to meet a police officer about the problem on April 15 but was found hanged earlier that day.

An inquest heard the 33-year-old had little spare cash after taking on a new mortgage, and had problems in his relationship with social worker Clair Temple.

It emerged Ms Temple, of Park Grange Court, Norfolk Park, Sheffield, was unhappy with him because of his jealousy and wanted some space.

She cancelled a meeting with him on two days before he was found dead and sent a text saying he had ‘crossed the line’ by contacting her ex-boyfriend’s partner.

Mr Tracy replied with a text message saying: “I’m really sorry. Goodbye. I can’t take any more pain with the house and you.”

His mother, Pamela Cameron, of Cecil Road, Dronfield, said he had mentioned attacks on his home and car which he believed had been carried out by local youths.

“He thought this was because he was working at the park and the kids had found out where he lived,” said Mrs Cameron.

Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson recorded an open verdict.

He said: “Local youths seem to have been targeting him - but not just him, there is a clear problem in the area. And few relationships run completely smoothly, we all have to weather the ups and downs.

“What has happened was quite inexplicable and not foreseeable. It’s not possible to look into his mind.”