Air steward’s suicide remains a mystery

TRAGEDY David Ashbury
TRAGEDY David Ashbury

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HE led a jet-set lifestyle and seemingly had everything to live for.

But David Ashbury, 37, a flight attendant for Virgin Airlines, was found hanged in a tragedy his family and friends are finding hard to explain.

An inquest heard Mr Ashbury was found dead at his flat in Emsworth Road, North End, Portsmouth.

On February 12 this year Mr Ashbury had texted friend Daniel Churcher to say he had had a ‘nightmare day’ at work and invited him to come round for a drink. The inquest heard how Mr Ashbury had appeared angry after being ignored by a female flight attendant – who he had split up with before Christmas – during a flight back from Ghana.

Mr Churcher said: ‘They were on the same flight. He wanted to clear the air and just say let’s move on. But he felt she was avoiding him. He came across as annoyed and he was angry. I would not say he seemed down about the girl. He was more miffed about her.’

The inquest heard the pair watched a DVD, drank wine and vodka and parted in ‘good spirits’ at around 11.30pm.

In the early hours of February 13 Mr Ashbury hanged himself.

Coroner David Horsley said: ‘The only conclusion I can reach is he has done this with the intention of taking his own life.’

He said the breakdown of the relationship with the flight attendant could have played a factor, but he could not be sure, adding: ‘We won’t know the reason why because the only person who can tell us is not here any more.’

His uncle John Merriott, from Southsea, did not think the break-up with the flight attendant played a part.

‘I would not put it down to that,’ he said. ‘What tipped him over the edge I do not know.’