A POLICEMAN who hanged himself two days after proposing to his fiancée had been suspended from work, an inquest has revealed.

However, North East Wales coroner John Hughes did not say why Kevin Anthony Hughes had been sent home on full pay by West Mercia Police.

Mr Hughes, who was born and raised in Penycae, was found by neighbours on the morning of December 27 after leaving his house on Pendas Park, Penley, to walk his dog.

Mr Hughes, 45, who had joined the police in 1987 after previously working as a printer, had proposed to Carole Formby, his partner of three years, on Christmas Day.

At the inquest in Wrexham yesterday coroner John Hughes said: “It was such a sad waste of a young life. Forty-five is nothing compared to the longevity of people today.”

Kevin Hughes, a constable and community beat officer in Whitchurch, had two children from a previous marriage and he had been to see them on Christmas Day.

He had then paid a visit to his mother, Margaret Joyce Hughes, in Penycae whose evidence at the hearing revealed her son had been more restless than normal.

Miss Formby then arrived at her home and showed the engagement ring she had been given by Mr Hughes that morning.

A statement from Miss Formby, a communications operator, said her finance had been suspended on full pay from work on December 9.

Mr Hughes, she said, loved his work and had taken the suspension “rather badly”.
Coroner John Hughes said: “There were no charges and until proven guilty he was an innocent man. You assured him that you would get through it. “

On Boxing Day Miss Formby went to spend the day with her mother and phoned Mr Hughes to check he was okay. She went home in the evening and found him to be “a little depressed”.

He got up at 6.45am the following day and said he was taking the dog for a walk.
Neighbours found him at 8.40am hanging by a dog lead from a fence on a private road yards from his home. Attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was declared dead soon afterwards.

Mr Hughes said: “What we have here is Kevin Hughes leaving his house with his fiancée still in bed and he’s taken his dog for a walk.

“There is no clear evidence at all he intended to do what he did. Sometimes there are notes left. There is nothing here of that sort.

“But in terms of reasonable doubt I have to say I entertain no doubt of what Kevin’s intention was.

“It is with great sadness that I must return a verdict of suicide.”