Young dad found hanged is ‘a tragic waste of life’

Daniel Woods, from Leyland, with his daughter Keeley
Daniel Woods, from Leyland, with his daughter Keeley
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A young dad who was found hanged in Leyland may not have meant to end his life, a coroner has concluded.

Daniel Woods, known to friends as Danny, went missing from his home in Northbrook Road, Leyland, on June 25, and was found by members of the Bowland Penine Mountain Rescue Team in woods off Schleswig Way on June 30.

Traces of anabolic steroids, which he used for exercise, as well as cocaine and cannabis were found in the 23-year-old’s system after his death.

During his inquest at Preston Coroner’s Court yesterday, Daniel’s mum Karen Woods described how he had acted normally the last time she saw him at around 5pm on June 25, and the inquest also heard there had been nothing to suggest he was having problems.

Daniel, who had an interest in motorbikes, had sent a text message to his workmate on June 25 to say he wouldn’t be in that day.

But Deputy coroner Simon Jones said he could not be completely certain that Daniel knew what he was doing at the time of his death.

He said: “It is clear what he did was at his own hands, but there is no indication as to what he was thinking at the time.

“Against that I have evidence that he was taking substances which may well have affected his judgement.”

There was no detail about when the drugs were taken or how much Daniel took.

Mr Jones recorded an open verdict and described the loss as “a tragic waste of a young life.”

Daniel, who worked at Lunar Caravans in Lostock Hall and had a two-year-old daughter Keeley with his ex-partner Sarah Cliff, was seen on CCTV footage buying a tow rope at around lunchtime on June 25, which he used to hang himself.

But his mum Karen, sobbing as she gave evidence, said he has been his ‘usual self’ when she saw him later that day - which was the last time he was seen before he went missing.

Police also found text messages on Daniel’s phone making references to drugs, and people asking to buy drugs from him, but Insp Neil Howarth said there was nothing to indicate that Daniel had felt scared or threatened by anyone, and he didn’t have any money troubles.

Speaking after the inquest on behalf of Daniel’s family, Insp Howarth added: “Danny was a loving son and dad, and he is sorely missed by all of his family and friends.

“It is so sad that he will not get to see his little girl grow up.”