THE family of Darren Sutherland have said “a lot of questions need to be answered” concerning why they were not informed of his suicide until four hours after his body was found.
An inquest into the Olympic bronze medallist’s death is expected by the weekend, although it will be adjourned until the results of a postmortem are known. It has been referred to Croydon Coroner’s Court in London, and coroner Dr Roy Palmer is expected to open and close proceedings today so that his family can bring his body home to bury him. However, a final ruling on the cause of death may not occur for some time.
Speaking to the media, the boxer’s father Tony said the family were only contacted late on Sunday night about Darren’s death even though his manager Frank Maloney had found him at 3pm that afternoon.
“The only reason Frank called to the apartment the next day was because Darren never turned up for training. He called to the apartment around 12pm and never got an answer at the door so he returned a few hours later, around 3pm, with another person and that’s when they discovered Darren.
“And it took until 7.30pm that evening when two guards called to my door for me to learn that my son was dead. A lot of questions need to be answered,” he said.
Sutherland’s final phonecall had been to his trainer Brian Lawrence on the eve of his suicide. Mr Lawrence described his mood as “really down”.
“He seemed really down. He was just down. I was reassuring him that everything was going to be all right. [I told him] you’re going to see the psychologist on Monday with Frank and everything’s going to be all right. He wasn’t disillusioned with boxing per se but with his own ability” said Mr Lawrence.
However, the boxer’s father said he and his wife Linda had a three-hour phonecall with their son on the same night during which he appeared “upbeat”.
“We discussed a cruise I was planning on the Caribbean and we talked about his sister going back to college on Monday.
“We weren’t talking about anything major and he was speaking to his sister and my wife as he always does. It was nothing unusual,” he said. Mr Sutherland did concede that his son had lost confidence ahead of his next fight and that it had made him depressed.
“Darren had lost confidence in himself as a fighter and he was worried he wouldn’t be able to step up to the fight.
“He felt Brian was spending too much time with another fighter and not enough time preparing Darren for his next fight. Darren was getting depressed about this,” he said.
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