May 16, 2022, 14:00

    Young couple found dead days apart as heartbroken man ‘couldn’t live without’ girlfriend

    Young couple found dead days apart as heartbroken man ‘couldn’t live without’ girlfriend

    A gardener took his own life just days after his girlfriend was found dead in a double tragedy, an inquest heard.

    Craig Daffern, 35, was reported missing on January 14 after he was last seen in the Thornton-Cleveleys area of Blackpool.

    A massive search was launched and his body was found two days later in Preston.

    Mr Daffern had previously told friends he "couldn't live without" his girlfriend Jenny Shanley, who had been found dead on January 11, an inquest at Preston Coroner's Court heard.

    The mum-of-two's death is believed to have been a suicide but an inquest will be held later this year, LancashireLive reports.

    Mr Daffern, who ran his own landscape gardening business Daffern's Design & Landscapes, had visited the police station on January 14 after he was unable to collect his belongings from Ms Shanley's house, the inquest heard.

    Daffern had previously told friends he 'couldn't live without' his girlfriend

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    He had also expressed frustration that he had not been kept updated on the investigation into her death.

    Mr Daffern's best friend Natasha, who is understood to have been the last person to speak to him, said he called her at around 2.25pm.

    Worried friends and family desperately tried to get hold of Mr Daffern but eventually, his phone was turned off.

    He was reported missing and two days later his body was found near a telephone exchange building.

    Mum Patricia Daffern, who also has two daughters; Heather and Amanda, said in a statement read out during the inquest that her son had previously attempted to take his own life in June 2020.

    He had been referred to mental health services but did not attend an appointment and eventually discharged himself.

    Returning a conclusion of suicide, Area Coroner Richard Taylor said: "Families will always ask why someone has done what they have done but I am afraid I can't answer that. All I can answer is the who, when, where and how.

    "Craig Daffern was found dead on January 16 on School Lane, Catforth, Preston, having suspended himself by the neck."

    Speaking to LancsLive after the inquest, Daffern's family said: "Craig was well-loved by his family and all who knew him, especially with his smile and larger than life personality.

    "He is so sadly missed and he will live on in our memory, remembering and celebrating his life as he would have done.

    "His family and friends would like to thank everyone who has paid their respects and sent heartfelt wishes at this tragic time."

    *If you're struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email or visit their site to find your local branch

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