Titchfield Common father was convinced of partner’s infidelity before Boxing Day death

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A FATHER-OF-TWO was convinced that his partner of 16 years was having an affair before he died, an inquest heard.

Craig Stokoe, died in the early hours of Boxing Day last year.

An inquest into his death at Portsmouth Coroners Court revealed that the IT engineer had been convinced his partner, Kirstie Cumming, had been having an affair.

The 42-year-old – who had cocaine in his system – had been acting ‘really strange’ at his home in Course Park Crescent, Titchfield Common, on Christmas Eve and just after 2am, walked down to the recreation ground by Wellsmoor.

Ms Cumming searched for Mr Stokoe during the early hours of morning but was unable to locate him and at 11.55am, a dog walker called the police after finding his body.

His partner had repeatedly tried to call and message Mr Stokoe while searching for him and it transpired that he had left a text message on the landline number stating: ‘I am giving you what you wanted.’

Mr Stokoe’s childhood friend Simon Sin – who was there during the evening – told the court: ‘When it got later into the evening, he started acting really strange. He was on Kirstie’s case and started following her around. We had talked before about his suspicions of her and he said he knew she was not cheating but he just could not help it.’

Coroner Lincoln Brookes said: ‘It is fair to say that he had an irrational preoccupation that his partner was having an affair and felt paranoid.’

The coroner gave the cause of death as hanging but said he could not be sure ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Mr Stokoe intended to end his life.

He gave a narrative conclusion for the inquest stating: ‘He hanged himself while in a depressed state after having cocaine and alcohol but I am not confident that this was the settled intention on ending his life.’