Old Town legend took his own life

David Darley-Bentley
David Darley-Bentley
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A POPULAR Old Town figure took his own life after becoming depressed, an inquest into his death heard.

David Darley-Bentley, 54, also known as ‘Monkey Dave’ was found hanging in his flat in Post Office Passage, on July 27 last year by good friend Warwick Shrives.

Giving evidence to the inquest on Wednesday (February 6), Mr Shrives, of High Street, said that David had been acting completely out of character in the months before his death.

“He was not the same person. It was like he had lost his spirit,” he said.

Mr Shrives found his friend’s body on the evening of July 27 after being telephoned by David’s ex-wife, asking that he go and check on him.

David had left two suicide notes, one addressed to his ex-wife, the other to friend Guy McFarlane.

Coroner Alan Craze returned a verdict of suicide, adding ‘while the balance of his mind was disturbed’, and said: “This was not an accident. Even without the suicide notes I would not have been in any doubt at all.”

Long-term friend Jonathan Mendenhall attended the inquest on behalf of Mr Darley-Bentley’s son Charlie and former partner Johanna, to whom he was close.

Both live in Sweden and could not attend the inquest on Wednesday.

On behalf of the family Mr Mendenhall said afterwards: “The inquest concludes the legal formalities surrounding David’s death - but it will never bring complete closure.

“He will be remembered every year, particularly during Old Town Week, with which he was so actively involved.

“There are plans for some sort of permanent tribute to Monkey Dave to be placed somewhere in the Old Town.”