‘Talented and eccentric’ comedian found dead hours after night out with partner

A man who suffered from anxiety and depression after the loss of his mother was found dead after a night out with his partner, an inquest heard.

A coroner said he could not be sure if Anthony Rodden, who lived in Wigan, Greater Manchester, intended to end his own life after he was found hanged in February of this year. 

Described as “loved, talented, eccentric and flamboyant”, the 30-year-old suffered from low moods and struggled after his mother’s death in 2020, Bolton Coroners’ Court was told.

The court heard that Mr Rodden had “triggers which changed his personality” and was treated by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust staff at home in February 2022, around a year before his tragic death. 

Discharged after a few months of treatment, he was said to be “appearing fine” in the following weeks, reports the MEN.

The former recruitment coordinator performed stand-up comedy and the court heard he went out with his partner Jasmine Humphries on February 18, reports the Manchester Evening News, hours before his tragic death.

Ms Humphries told the court he had a good time and performed at a karaoke night. Mr Rodden returned home alone in the early hours after his mood deteriorated. Ms Humphries described it as an ‘episode of mental health’.

“He would sometimes lose touch with reality and get angry for no reason,” she said. Ms Humphries told the court she tried to ring him between 6am and 7am the following morning, but didn’t get a response.

To her horror when she arrived home, she found him dead. His cause of death was recorded as a hanging. The police were called and confirmed no third-party involvement was established.

Forensic toxicologist Dr Simon Elliott told the court Mr Rodden had alcohol, cocaine and cannabis in his system. The court also heard Mr Rodden’s loved ones believed it was an ‘impulsive’ act.

He told the court it was hard to say what effect the substances had on his mental state at the time.

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Coroner Alan Walsh said he wasn’t satisfied Mr Rodden intended to take his own life. He said:”The alcohol, cannabis and cocaine in his system at the time of his death is significant as the alcohol was more than two-and-a-half times over the legal limit.

“The cocaine can cause judgement errors and can cause problems in the come-down period. Anthony is someone who had problems going back to 2015 which were exacerbated by the death of his mother in 2020.

“He seems to be someone with a split personality, but most of the time he was caring, loving and a joy to be with and was well-liked, with a lot of friends.

“He had triggers which changed his personality. They were episodic, rather than consistent, in life.”

Recording a narrative conclusion, the coroner said: “I’m not satisfied he intended to end his life at that moment. It seemed a spontaneous act while under the influence. His judgement may have been effected and he may not have had sufficient judgement capacity.

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‘An educated and intelligent man’

“His intentions to me remain unclear. He just seemed to have these odd episodes. He had these moments where his character changed.

“He was an educated and intelligent man and everything seemed to be right. So it’s truly sad he died at that moment.”

Mr Rodden’s father John described his son as a ‘well-mannered man who would talk to anyone’, saying he was ‘well-loved’.

Ms Humphries told the Manchester Evening News Mr Rodden was the ‘love of [her] life’. She said: “Everyone knew him. He was always so happy to bump into friends old and new.

“He had a talent in being able to talk to anyone. He was so caring and considerate. He touched the lives of so many people.

“He really was hilarious and his comedic timing was genius. He stood up for what he believed in and fought unequivocally against injustice. What we all really admired about him was he was so authentically and unapologetically himself.

“He inspired us all more than he will ever know. We found home in each other and I’m so thankful for the time we had together.”

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