3:00pm Friday 7th December 2012
By Emma Harrison
THE family of a young man found hanged at the golf course where he lived and worked hope his death will act as a warning to others.
An inquest into the death of Leon Preedy, 22, on Tuesday ruled that he had taken his own life on July 10 at Banbury Golf Course in Adderbury.
The inquest heard that Mr Preedy had a history of mental health issues and had left a note.
After the hearing at County Hall in New Road, Oxford, Mr Preedy’s mum Traci Guy-Smith, from Banbury, said: “What young people can take from what Leon did is realise that there are other options rather than getting down and giving in.”
Of Mr Preedy, who left behind three brothers, Ms Guy-Smith added: “He had a lot of friends, a lot of people turned up to his funeral.
“He was hilarious, he was funny.
“He was always smiling.
“Everyone said they will miss his smile. He lit a room up when he walked in.”
She added: “It is such a waste of a precious life. He will be sadly missed and I hope never forgotten in our hearts and minds.
“Thank you to everybody who has been there for me.”
The inquest heard that Olly Boys, a lawn technician, called the ambulance at 7.30pm on July 10 after a friend – who was referred to as Luke – was looking for Mr Preedy.
In a statement read to the inquest, Mr Boys said he heard a scream and Luke ran over asking for a knife and added: “I asked him what was wrong. He said ‘it is Leon, it is Leon! He has tried to hang himself.’”
Mr Preedy was found hanged from a barn beam at Banbury Golf Course.
A statement from Laura Coles, a barmaid at the golf club, said that earlier in the day she had been told by a colleague that Mr Preedy had walked into the bar with a rope and a knife and said he was going to hang himself.
At about 7.30pm, Mr Preedy’s friend Luke ran into the bar asking for a knife. They then ran to the barn to cut Mr Preedy down.
A statement from Ms Guy-Smith, read to the inquest, said: “He did have an issue with various substances.
“He did have mental health issues. Leon had previously talked about taking his own life on many occasions and he used to get very emotional.”
A report from Elizabeth Clarke, forensic toxicologist, said a low level of diazepam and cannibis was found in Mr Preedy’s body.
Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter recorded a verdict that Mr Preedy took his own life. He said: “How very sad it is to lose Leon at a very young age and in these circumstances.”
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