Tributes have been paid to a ‘hard-working’ father-of-six who died in a Southampton park.

An inquest heard how Jonathan Callender's body was found at the basketball court in Mansel Park, Millbrook, by a man walking his dog.

The police and fire service attended the incident and the construction worker was declared dead at the scene.

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In an emotional statement read out at Winchester Coroners' Court, his father Lawrence Callender said his son “always worked hard in his family life and job”.

It said: “He has raised six children. He ran a football team evenings and weekends.

“Each child had their own special things to do with Jonathan. He worked hard to provide for them all.

“He still found time for friends. If he could do it for you, he would.”

Referring to his passing, his father added: “It is so hard to believe.”

Coroner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp explained how the 37-year-old had argued with his partner over text in the hours before his passing.

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Mansell Park, SouthamptonMansel Park, Southampton (Image: NQ)

But she did not receive the messages until she got home that evening.

The emergency services arrived at the scene at 6am and a police cordon was set up around Mr Callender's body.

The man who found him was described as “highly distressed and emotional” and had been warning passersby to stay away, the inquest heard.

A post mortem later found that Mr Callender had died by hanging.

The coroner added that a concentration of a drug was found in his blood which could lead to a fatality.

“There appears to have been no relevant history here. No record of mental health issues or treatment”, Ms Kemp added.

“The only conclusion I can draw from the facts as I know them is suicide.”

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