The father of a Garston man who died in a tragic weightlifting accident has spoken out to set the record straight after reading hurtful and false speculation online that he had committed suicide.
Daniel Seabrook, 40, died at his home in Lea Bushes on March 11 after losing consciousness while bench pressing weights alone in his garden.
An inquest on Tuesday (August 13) concluded that Mr Seabrook, who worked as a carpenter for more than 20 years, had died of respiratory failure and had not intended to kill himself.
During the inquest at Hatfield Coroner’s Court, members of Mr Seabrook’s family were told the weight of the bar he was lifting had fatally compressed his lungs even though it did not appear to have been dropped from any height.
A toxicology report found traces of codeine, a powerful pain killer, which he was using to aid his recovery from spinal surgery.
Graham Seabrook worked with Daniel for more than 20 years and it was he who tried to resuscitate his son after finding him.
Speaking after the inquest, he said: "I found Daniel, he had been bench pressing in the garden and the weights fell across his neck.
"His lungs had collapsed with the weight across him.
"He was a strong lad, he went to the gym every day but his lungs had swollen up and that was the end of his life.
"The weight didn’t fall on him, if it had that would have snapped his neck but there is no way this was suicide, it is just one of those tragic things."
Mr Seabrook senior said the coroner’s verdict that his son’s death had been an accident came as a relief following speculation on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter that he had taken his own life.
He said: "After his death all these rumours started going round that he had killed himself.
"The rumours took quite a toll on us as a family.
"You find yourself wondering ‘did he do it on purpose’, I knew he didn’t but there is always doubt in the back of your mind."
He is survived by his partner Simone, 41, and daughter Tiegan, 13.
More than 800 mourners attended the former Kingsway Junior School pupil’s funeral at West Herts Crematorium on March 22.