A WINSFORD man who suffered deeply following the death of his neighbour and friend tragically took his own life, a coroner has confirmed.

Peter Daniel, of East Dudley Street, was found in the woodlands of Little Budworth Common by a dog walker on April 3.

An inquest into his death held at Warrington Coroners’ Court on Friday heard how the 60-year-old, who was born in Knutsford, had no previous incidents of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, but suffered from low moods over winter months.

A statement prepared by Peter’s wife, Michelle, described how his friend and neighbour had committed suicide by hanging after Christmas in the attic of his home, and how Peter was ‘very much affected’ by this.

Peter, who worked as an engineer, would visit a den often frequented by the neighbour and saw ‘balls of light’, which he took to be the man’s soul and tried to encourage him to ‘cross over’.

Michelle’s statement went on to say that the night before the neighbour’s funeral, Peter had insisted they stay away from home because he was concerned that ‘dark forces would try to harm them’.

Following the funeral, Peter became increasingly paranoid about the world around him and the reasons for world events.

He was sceptical about Covid-19, was shocked to see queues at the local supermarket and could not understand why people were recoiling from his dogs when he was out walking with them.

The statement adds that Michelle last saw him when retiring to bed at around 1.15.am on the morning of his death.

Peter’s body was found in the wooded area at Little Budworth Common by a dog walker at 8.30am.

Emergency services were called and police were able to identify the body to be that of Peter’s due to a missing person appeal.

Police confirmed that there was no evidence of any third-party involvement and a pathologist confirmed the cause of death to be that of hanging.

Peter Sigee, assistant coroner for Cheshire, ended the inquest by accepting the cause of death as hanging and concluded that Peter’s death was the result of suicide.

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