Open verdict in Falmouth club doorman inquest

Open verdict in Falmouth club doorman inquest

Open verdict in Falmouth club doorman inquest

First published in News

The coroner has recorded an open verdict at the inquest of a Falmouth bouncer who was found dead at his home on Valentine 's Day.

David John Cotterill, known as John, 35, who worked as a handyman and doorman at Falmouth's Club International, was found hanged at his home in Jacks Close in Penryn.

His partner of 11 years, Bonnie Baldwin, described John as a friendly man who “always helped everybody” and could “put his hand to anything”.

She said: “He was known as a doorman who would connect to people, who was always talking to people.”

However, she added: “It wasn't all that long ago he admitted to me he was depressed, but he wouldn't see a doctor because they wouldn't help him.”

She said disagreements between the two were quite regular, “but the way things were, we had a passionate relationship in both senses. We fell out but we got on really well too.”

On the day before, February 13, the pair had had an argument, but the following day they had talked about things before he went to work, and he had sent her a series of text messages which she didn't immediately read.

They talked again when John returned, and he had gone downstairs to the garage, which was described as a 'man-cave' where he could relax.

Bonnie said: “He sent me a text message saying 'I'll make it easy for you.'”

She went downstairs but the door was locked, and there was no response to her knocking, so she started to panic and called her brother, Daniel Baldwin, who was in the house.

She said: “I noticed he'd scrawled on some paper before going downstairs.

“I looked at the paper and it said 'I hope one day you'll forgive me.' But it didn't ring out to me until afterwards.”

When asked by assistant coroner Barrie van den Berg if it could have been a case of John doing something with the hope of being discovered, but that she just didn't know, Bonnie said: “He was very strong minded if he put his mind to something.”

The coroner then asked if there was anything about the day that was different from others, she said no, and added: “It wasn't even that bad a row.”

Bonnie's brother Daniel, who described John as “like my best friend,” forced open the garage door to find him.

He said: “I don't think he meant to do it, he was a strong person.

“He had a home, family, good job, and was loved by everyone.

“[I think he] hoped someone would get to him before.”

Detective constable David Lee said no note was found by investigating police officers, but that there were several texts found between Bonnie and John.

He said: “It was almost as if they were just missing each other.

“It was a tragic set of circumstances where they didn't actually get to resolve their issues.”

Recording an open verdict, the assistant coroner said: “He was someone who had a life, had lovely kids and a loving relationship, a home and a job. People like that don't just decide to end it all.”

Speaking after the inquest, John's brother Ben said: “There was nobody like him. He was the greatest man I ever knew.

“Nothing was too much trouble, he'd do anything for anybody.”

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