Suicide threat ‘went wrong’

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A MAN seemed to ‘half-smile’ before he hanged himself in front of his girlfriend, an inquest heard.

Ryan Knapper, aged 24, sent text messages to his girlfriend threatening to kill himself on the day he discovered she had had a chance meeting with his ex-partner, the mother of his child.

Leanne Hadfield told the inquest when she called at the house where Mr Knapper was staying, she saw him at the top of the stairs and he seemed to ‘half smile’ - before he hanged himself.

She tried to release him and alerted emergency services, but he could not be revived.

The incident took place on March 6 after Ms Hadfield had a chance meeting with Joanne Lawton, Mr Knapper’s former partner and the mother of his son, while out in Chesterfield.

The inquest heard Mr Knapper, of Malia Road, Tapton, Chesterfield, had been having problems seeing his son, and he had also had a fall-out with Ms Hadfield.

PC Sarah Adams, who investigated his death, said it was clear from text messages viewed by police that the women had discussed their relationships with him.

She said Mr Knapper sent Ms Lawton a message stating she had ‘ruined everything’, and saying it would be her fault when he killed himself.

And he told Ms Hadfield: “I’ve lost you, so what’s the point living anymore?”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson said: “Leanne didn’t believe he really would kill himself.

“I am satisfied it was a demonstration or a threat - or even an attempt to get Leanne back onside - and it went wrong.”