A pub owner died of a drug overdose in his cell as police were about to question him about the death of a sex worker who died from asphyxiation while performing for him.
Jerome Dangar was under investigation in connection with the death of Hope Barden, who died during an online bondage session at her home in Staffordshire.
Dangar paid the 21-year-old graduate to participate in the dangerous activity and did not call for help even though he could see she was in distress, StokeonTrentLive reports.
READ MORE: Man accused of killing paralyzed victim ‘pulled knife from him’, court says
He was interested not only in the auto-erotic choke, but also in the so-called snuff videos that showed people dying. He was at HMP Dartmoor after being jailed in January 2019 for possession of extreme pornography.
An inquest jury in Exeter, Devon, learned that Dangar, 45, had stored prescription drugs in his cell before he was found dead in Dartmoor Prison in April 2019.
A Home Office pathologist said he died of poisoning with propranolol, a drug used to treat anxiety.
The Exeter Coroner Court jury heard that Dangar had been remanded in custody at HMP Exeter before being jailed in January 2019 at Truro Crown Court for 15 months.
He had admitted nine charges of possession of extreme pornography of acts endangering a person’s life and endangering their genitals.
Judge Simon Carr said the 47 images and videos included “the deliberate torture of people who are clearly alive at the start and appear dead by the end.”
He told Dangar, who ran a pub in Tintagel, Cornwall, “these offenses are in my opinion the worst of their kind.”
The judge said that a pathologist had reviewed the videos and believed that “at least three of those tortured died by the end.”
Prosecutor Philip Lee said the footage showed “concern with strangulation, stabbing, torture, suffocation and death.”
Devon Chief Coroner Philip Spinney told the jury that Dangar was transferred to Dartmoor days after being jailed at Truro Crown Court.
A day before he was found dead he learned he was going to be questioned again by Staffordshire Police regarding the manslaughter of Hope, who was found dead at his home in Burton-upon-Trent on March 15 2018.
The coroner said Dangar was prescribed medication for anxiety and was allowed to keep the pills in his cell.
Dangar wrote letters about the suicide but told his parents that he “didn’t have the bottle to hang himself on.”
Home Office pathologist Dr Deborah Cook said Dangar had extremely high levels of propranolol in his blood and urine.
The therapeutic range is 0.05 to 1 milligram per liter but Dangar had 7.5 milligrams per liter and the lethal level was 4.
He also had sertraline in his system, but she said it didn’t cause his death and was not within a lethal range.
During Hope’s investigation, a finding of unlawful murder was recorded.
A coroner has heard that Dangar was a depraved “snuff movie” fan who left her to die after seeing her suffocate on a live sex webcam.
It was said that she was paid to perform “degrading and dangerous” acts by Dangar after meeting her on an adult website where she was earning money to supplement her salary as a caregiver.
Dangar paid £ 2,300 over three months to watch it and then police found videos of the abuse at his home.
Hope died of asphyxiation during her searches in Burton in March 2018 – and Dangar watched live but did not call 999, her investigation said.
The Exeter inquest jury recorded a finding of suicide on Dangar after an eight-day inquest in Exeter’s Coroner’s Court.
Following Hope’s investigation, her mother Kate released a statement released by Staffordshire Police.
She said: “Hope was a beautiful and intelligent young woman.
“She had obtained her basic diploma in adolescent mental health and had recently returned from working in Norway.
Hope had a paid job in the Burton area as a caregiver for people with learning disabilities.
Hope had made extra money working in the online adult film industry.
“Unregulated, this industry serves no one except those who wish to commit violence against women.
“Hope became the subject of interest of a regular user of the site who paid her to perform sexual acts via the Internet, which in three months of contact degenerated into degrading and dangerous situations.
“We are deeply disappointed that this case can no longer do Hope justice.
“If this had gone to court it would be a landmark case, the first of its kind in the UK.
“As it stands we will release our report and findings to all UK police forces in the hope that should a dreadful situation like this occur again there is a record of how we have approached such a sensitive and difficult question.
“Anyone with daughters or other family members involved in this terrible industry should be aware of the risk of harm.
“A duty of care exists in any relationship.
“If someone is clearly in danger, we have a legal obligation to take action to help them.
“In this tragic case, Hope was left behind.
“Hope’s family and friends have been devastated.”
We send daily court and crime updates direct to our email inbox – sign up here.