The family of a popular Leeds busker have expressed their gratitude for the support they have received from “countless people” following their son’s inquest.
Father-of-two Jonny Walker, 37, who died in March, was well-known all over the country for his street performances. He was also a social activist who was involved in buskers’ rights campaigns.
Wakefield’s Senior Coroner Kevin McLoughlin recorded a verdict of suicide at an inquest held yesterday.
A family statement released after the hearing said: "As a family we have been processing the circumstances surrounding Jonathan’s death for the past eight months. We are aware that the conclusion of today’s inquest may be extremely difficult news for those of you who knew and loved him.
"Jonathan had battled through a very difficult 18 months in his personal life prior to his death and we as a family remain extremely proud of the dignified and courageous manner in which he conducted himself throughout that time."
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The statement added: "Jonathan was a dearly loved son and brother, a passionate advocate and activist with a brilliant mind, a talented and gifted musician, a gentle yet formidable spirit and a devoted and loving father. It is for these qualities, that we as a family will remember Jonathan and it is our hope that everyone who knew and loved him will do the same.
"This will be the only statement that we will be releasing and we thank you for continuing to respect our privacy as we grieve.
"For anyone needing to speak with someone in response to today’s news we would encourage you to access support. Help is available from: Leeds Survival-Led Crisis Service– https://www.lslcs.org.uk; CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) – https://www.thecalmzone.net; Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org
"In the meantime we want to express our deep gratitude for the wonderful support we have received during this difficult time from countless people who loved Jonathan and his children and who continue to love and support us."
The inquest heard he had been found hanging at his home on Parkfield Place on March 12 and died in Leeds General Hospital two days later.