Prankster’s tragic joke
He accidentally hanged himself as girlfriend said: Stop messing about
A PRACTICAL joker who ‘ loved’ winding his girlfriend up accidentally hanged himself when one of his pranks went wrong.
Danny Munro playfully tied his tracksuit bottoms around his neck while his girlfriend told him he ‘wasn’t funny’ and to stop messing about, an inquest heard.
Weeks earlier, the 26-year- old had covered himself in tomato ketchup and stumbled into the room claiming he had been stabbed. On another occasion, he feigned suffering anaphylactic shock after eating nuts while driving.
His partner Amy Leaman even warned him about the jokes he played on her and about ‘the little boy who cried wolf’.
On August 1 last year, Mr Munro tied his tracksuit pants around his neck while she just ‘rolled her eyes’ at another one of his jokes, the inquest heard. But she soon realised something was seriously wrong as he turned blue. She ran into the kitchen to grab something to free him with and called 999 – but Mr Munro died at the Royal Stoke University Hospital three days later.
Miss Leaman told the hearing they had just got back from shopping and had decided to have a break from their ‘health kick’ to have hot dogs for dinner.
She said she began to watch television when Mr Munro said he was going upstairs to watch one of his programmes. On his way, he began messing around with the tracksuit bottoms.
Miss Leaman said: ‘We didn’t have an argument – it was a playful thing and he was smiling.’ She added: ‘I thought he was joking, that’s how he got attention and the laughs. He did it for the shock factor. That’s what he did to make people laugh.’
She described how she shouted at him, punching and smacking him to try and get a response.
‘I was screaming at him and I said, “It’s not funny now”, then I stood back and his face was blue. I ran into the kitchen and got a saw and ran back in and I cut [the tracksuit] two times and then he fell and he gasped then,’ she added. The inquest heard Mr Munro, of Bignall end, Staffordshire, worked at a nearby Morrisons with Miss Leaman.
She said: ‘He never talked to me about intentionally hurting himself, he loved life.’ She stressed that he was ‘especially’ happy that day as they were having a ‘cheat day’ from their diets.
A post-mortem examination found the cause of Mr Munro’s death was brain swelling caused by compression to the neck.
Speaking at the inquest, his mother Alison Rigby described him as someone who ‘would light up a room’. She said: ‘Danny was always a joker. He had an amazing sense of humour – he just had that much of a big personality. It wouldn’t make sense for anybody else, but if you know Danny it’s him down to a tee. If there was an opportunity to have a giggle then he would make you giggle.’
She added: ‘ He never complained about anything, he took things as they came, he wouldn’t sit and worry about stuff.’
North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure. Mr Barkley said: ‘He had no significant medical history and no evidence of depression. He has been described to me as a practical joker who liked to shock.
‘ Nothing caused his partner cause for concern and there was nothing unusual about the way he was behaving.’ He added: ‘The circumstances are very unusual and this appears to be a prank which has gone wrong and led to the death of Mr Munro. I don’t find this is a case of suicide.’
‘Amazing sense of humour’
Having a laugh: Danny Munro with his girlfriend Amy Leaman Left: Mr Munro, who was known for his practical jokes