Published: 00:01, 19 April 2014 |
Rikki Themistocleous sent text messages to mother Jeanette telling her he was going to take his own life, an inquest heard.
Later that day – with police on the hunt for him – Mr Themistocleous carried out his threat in a Whitstable park.
The hearing heard how the 32-year-old was “impetuous” and had attempted suicide in the past.
But speaking afterwards, dad Andreas said the family would remember him in a positive light.
Describing their devastation, he said: “How do you ever come to terms with something like this?
“Losing Rikki has left a massive hole in a lot of people’s hearts. It’s a tragedy for all of us and for everyone who knew him. We will all miss him dearly.”
During the hearing, Mrs Themistocleous was forced to endure a number of probing questions about son Rikki’s state of mind on December 3 last year.
“I know he had had a row with his girlfriend. I don’t think there was anything else troubling him,” she said. “I got quite a few texts from him after I saw him that day.”
Coroner Rebecca Cobb asked whether those texts indicated Mr Themistocleous was intending to take his own life.
“They did,” Mrs Themistocleous replied.
Mr and Mrs Themistocleous, from Rowland Drive, Herne Bay, sat with dignity as harrowing details of their son’s final hours emerged.
Mr Themistocleous was a maintenance worker at Seaview Holiday Park between Whitstable and Herne Bay, where he also lodged.
“Losing Rikki has left a massive hole in a lot of people’s hearts. It’s a tragedy for all of us and for everyone who knew him. We will all miss him dearly” - mother Jeanette Themistocleous
Police statements described how officers had received several evening reports of a red VW Polo driving badly in the area of St Augustine’s Crescent, Whitstable.
Miss Cobb read a statement from PC Stuart Rogers, who said officers found the car abandoned in Plough Lane, Whistable, shortly before 9pm.
“A man flagged us down and said he had nearly been hit by another man driving a red car,” said PC Rogers. “The car had driven off and nearly hit another car. The red car stopped and the driver got out and ran off.”
Police dog handler PC Paul Donovan described in a written statement how his dog picked up a scent in Plough Lane at around 9pm.
They traced it for around 500 metres into Swalecliffe Drive and into the adjoining recreation park.
The dog led PC Donovan to a tree where he discovered Mr Themistocleous.
“It was quite obvious he was dead,” said PC Donovan.
Medical records showed he had attempted suicide in 2010, though this was considered an “impulsive” act.
Post mortem results showed his system contained small quantities of alcohol and cannabis and cocaine consistent with recreational use.
Miss Cobb said: “One of the aspects I have to consider is whether or not alcohol played a part. Given the small amount I don’t consider that it played a significant part."
She recorded a verdict of suicide, saying: “Following an argument earlier that evening he had indicated his intentions in text messages.”
Speaking outside, Mrs Themistocleous said: “He was a wonderful, wonderful son. He was not only a son, he was a brother and a friend to many.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.