Tennis coach's helium suicide

A popular tennis coach killed himself by inhaling helium, after experiencing problems caused by the breakdown of his marriage.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 1:55 pm
Burnley Coroner's Court

Mr David White (44) was found by police at his former family home in Rosehill Avenue, Burnley, on March 4th after concerns were raised by his family.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner's Court heard how Mr White had been "up and down emotionally" since the breakdown of his marriage in November, 2015.

Mr White was said to be struggling to cope with the breakup of his marriage and not seeing his children as much as he would have liked.

PC David Howarth, who found Mr White's body, told the hearing that the curtains were closed at the house.

He said he discovered Mr White slumped on a settee with a plastic bag tied around his head. The bag was attached to a helium canister.

The officer added that a number of notes and family photographs were found at the scene.

Pathologist Dr Depa Jacob, who conducted the postmortem examination, said toxicology tests revealed a small amount of alcohol and cocaine was found in Mr White's system.

She said that because helium was a volatile gas it was not possible to determine the amount inhaled.

She gave the cause of death as asphyxia due to inhalation of helium.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said to Mr White's family: "I am sorry you have to relive this again, as I'm sure you have to do every day.

" After an event such as this you will always ask why, but once a decision has been made there seems to be very little one can do to stop it.

"There was a degree of planning with this and therefore I have little option but to return a conclusion of suicide."