Hanging in park was a ‘cry for help’

Peter Little
Peter Little

A YOUNG man was making a ‘cry for help’ when he accidentally hanged himself in a Doncaster park, an inquest heard.

One of Peter Little’s friends saw him drop from a children’s swing and battled to lift him off it, but by the time police cut the 24-year-old down he had no pulse.

A Doncaster inquest heard the market trader, was being treated for depression after the ‘acrimonious’ break-up of his relationship with a woman who had left him and taken his pet dog, Paddy.

The hearing was told of a Facebook entry in which Peter said his former girlfriend, Rachel Gascoigne, ‘wants me to hang myself’. “No harm in trying, “ he added.

Ms Gascoigne, 20, who lives in Carcroft, was described by the coroner as ‘not a credible witness’ - and Peter’s parents said in court they blame her for what happened to their son.

The couple had lived together for more than two years but she said things went downhill when he confessed to seeing someone else.

“We had a big argument and both agreed it was not doing any of us any good“ she said.

After that he was ringing her up to 40 times a day, said Ms Gascoigne, and she would not let him see the dog because it would mean seeing him.

Peter’s father, also called Peter, said the couple’s relationship was his son’s only problem.

Referring to the hanging, Mr Little said: “I have always thought it was a cry for help. I suppose he felt on his own.”

At the time of his death in May last year Peter was staying with a friend, in Green Lane, Askern, who returned home and found him upset after a phone conversation with Ms Gascoigne.

The pair went for a walk to the park where Peter stood on a child’s swing while he went to look at a nearby funfair. When he returned he was hanging.

Coroner Nicola Mundy recorded an accidental death verdict.