Death – Tragedy of dad who ‘loved daughter unconditionally’ found dead in flat by friend

Death – Obituary

A “proud” father-of-one and talented rugby player was found dead in his flat by a friend.

Porthmadog Rugby Club player, David René Simmons passed away on Easter Sunday, April 4 aged just 36 at his home in Tremadog, Gwynedd.

He was found by his friend, Paul Jones, who was concerned when he realised that he had not seen Mr Simmons that day.

READ MORE: Inquest opens into death of 28-year-old with ‘heart of gold’ killed in A5 crash

The inquest into his death, held in Caernarfon, heard how he had taken “a cocktail of drugs” in the lead up to his sudden death.

In a statement read out during the inquest his mother, Yvonne Simmons, described him as a “very loving and happy child” who “lost confidence” as he got older.

She said that during his teenage years he struggled with bulimia and would often make himself sick after meals because he was unhappy with his weight.

Mrs Simmons said: “He was a proud father and loved his daughter unconditionally.

David Rene Simmons. Image: Yvonne Simmons
David Rene Simmons. Image: Yvonne Simmons

“When that relationship with his child’s mother broke down he came back to live at home and began drinking too much.

“When she moved away to Manchester his drinking got worse and he began taking drugs – he hadn’t seen her since her second birthday and that bothered him greatly.

“He moved to Australia with the intention of bettering himself in June 2015 but returned in the October, and his behaviour deteriorated drastically.

“In 2016 the police had to remove him from our home and he was put in a hostel in Corris before moving to Stockport to work.

“His health deteriorated and he was diagnosed with pancreatitis.

“He admitted that he had been trying to find out where his ex and their daughter lived and every time he failed it made him feel worse.”

The day before Mr Simmons was found his mother had visited him at his flat to take him some shopping.

She said he asked whether he could visit her and his father on Easter Sunday for a family meal and told her that he had bought himself a car and was looking forward to starting work again.

Sadly, this was the last time Mrs Simmons saw or spoke to her son.

Delivering a verdict of misadventure, acting senior coroner Katie Sutherland said: “David had a history of drug use and minor involvement of secondary services of the health board.

“He had lost contact with daughter and was extremely troubled by this.

“He had been involved in the taking of illegal and over the counter drugs but by Easter, things were beginning to look up for him.

David René Simmons, 36, passed away over Easter weekend.
Porthmadog Rugby Club player David René Simmons has died

“On April 4, he was found by a friend to have passed away.

“He had consumed a cocktail of drugs and had an extremely high level of codeine and paracetamol in his system.

“A postmortem showed that David died from broncho-pneumonia due to combined drug toxicity.

“He had at times struggled with his mental health but I don’t consider that there is sufficient evidence to return a suicide conclusion because I would need to be satisfied that he intended death to be the consequence of his actions.

“He had been forward planning and was due to go to a family dinner over Easter, had been talking about going back to work and had recently bought a car.”

Having visited the flat after Mr Simmons passed away, his mother said they found a letter that he had written to his daughter whilst incarcerated that said he “missed her so much” and “would have been there for her if he was allowed”.

To leave a tribute to David, please do so in the comments section.]

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject's life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.