A computer engineer with an interest in sex bondage died after tying himself naked to a TREE with cord wrapped around his penis, an inquest heard.
Kevin Kirkland, 44, used a makeshift pair of rope handcuffs to attach himself to the trunk but got trapped when a knot jammed around his wrists.
Walkers discovered his body slumped against the tree the following morning near his home in Newport, Shropshire.
He was wearing just his socks and boots and had a small piece of cord wrapped around his penis.
The inquest heard how bachelor Kevin died from hypothermia and blood loss from cuts on his wrists which were caused by his desperate attempts to escape.
He had drunk seven pints of lager and a vodka and coke with a pal the night before he died, Telford Magistrates Court was told.
After leaving his friend at 1am on December 30 he returned to his home in Newport where he made a pair of handcuffs by melting a single piece of rope to make two loops for his wrists.
He then walked to a tree by a canal near his home where he stripped naked and attached himself to the tree using the rope handcuffs.
Kevin tried in vain to escape in the pitch black and freezing temperatures by rubbing the rope up and down the tree, stripping the bark of moss and cutting his wrists open.
At 8am Mark Griffiths and his partner Elaine Batho discovered were walking their dog when they heard Kevin crying for help.
Mr Griffiths told the inquest: ”I heard a few grunts and groans. I called to him ‘are you ok, what’s going on?’
”Initially when I went up to him I was trying to talk to him and I noticed on the left wrist that he had some marks and they appeared to go down quite deep.
”There was quite a lot of dried blood on the arms. He had marks on the back of his head and he was quite dirty.
”I wrapped him in my coat to give him some dignity and eventually a police officer came and cut him down.
”As we put him down on the ground I noticed a small cord around the base of his penis.”
Miss Batho added: ”As I turned around, from the back I saw this gentleman attached to the tree.
”There were no leaves there. There was nothing to hide him in any way. He only had his boots on.
”The front of his body was facing the tree trunk and I could see all the left hand side of his body and his back.
”I had no doubt in my mind what I had seen. His arms were above his head and he appeared to be attached to the tree by his hands or wrists.
”He didn’t move, he didn’t make any sound at all – I thought he was dead.”
Kevin was rushed to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Shropshire, but he died hours later.
Computer expert Richard Roberts told the inquest that Kevin’s home computer was full of ”hard core pornography” and ”rope bondage”.
Home Office pathologist Dr Alexander Kolar said Kevin died of hypothermia and blood loss after cutting his wrists by accident while struggling to escape.
John Ellery, coroner for Telford and Wrekin, recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest last Thursday (05/08).
Mr Ellery said: ”After hearing all the evidence I do come to the conclusion that there was no third-party involvement and it was Kevin Kirkland who tied himself to the tree.
”I do not believe that it could have been an accident that he put the slip knot around the tree. That must have been deliberate.
”He had everything going for himself and was enjoying his life.
”It is clear to me that having put himself in that position he could not get out of it.”
A statement released from his family after the hearing said: ”His death has left a huge gap in our lives and he will be in our hearts and thoughts always.”
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