Former world judo champion Craig Fallon emailed partner before suicide

Former world judo champion Craig Fallon, 36, emailed his partner to say ‘this was my choice’ before hanging himself, inquest hears

  • Fallon, 36, was discovered in woodland at Wrekin Hill in Shropshire on July 15
  • He emailed partner Rebecca the night before he was discovered 3 miles away
  • Inquest at Shrewsbury Coroners Court today returned verdict of suicide  

A former British world judo champion emailed his partner saying ‘this was my choice’ before hanging himself, an inquest heard today.

Craig Fallon, 36, was found dead in the woods at Wrekin Hill near Telford in Shropshire, three miles from his home, on July 15. 

The day before his death he sent a long email to his partner Rebecca, which a coroner deemed ‘too personal and private’ to read at his inquest. 

But coroner John Ellery said: ‘There is one line that was relevant where Craig said: ‘Remember, this was my choice’.

‘That tells me that this was not accidental. There is sufficient evidence to reach the conclusion of suicide.’

Former GB judo champion Craig Fallon (pictured with a gold medal at the World Judo Championships in 2005 in Egypt), 36, was found dead in the woods at Wrekin Hill near Telford in Shropshire, three miles from his home, on July 15

The inquest was told West Mercia Police and his family searched for three hours after he disappeared on July 14. 

It was called off due to bad light and resumed at 5am the next morning, before Mr Fallon’s body was found near a campsite. 

The coroner said his email to his partner was sent at around 6pm the night before his body was discovered.

Fallon (pictured at the Beijing Olympics in 2008) and was the last British judoka to win a world title and only the third British male to achieve the feat when he claimed the 60kg title at the World Championships in 2005

He said: ‘As I understand it, his last communication was at this time.

‘We know, as this was on the Sunday evening, that Craig was still alive then.

‘He left a long email to you Rebecca, but I am not going to read it out as it is personal and private.’ 

Mr Ellery then invited the family to speak, but they declined.

He added: ‘On that basis, I will close the inquest. With my condolences to you, I record a conclusion of suicide.’

Fallon was the last British judoka to win a world title and only the third British male to achieve the feat when he claimed the 60kg title at the World Championships in 2005.

He also won the top prize at the 2006 European Championships and the 2007 World Cup.

He is one of only two British men, alongside Neil Adams, to be a World and European champion at the same time.

Fallon later competed at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where he placed seventh, before retiring from the sport in 2011 to take up a coaching role.

He was less than five months into his role as head coach of the Welsh Judo Association (WJA) when he died.

Pictured: Craig Fallon, whose body was found in the woods near his home on July 15 this year 

Chief executive Darren Warner of the WJA said at the time of his passing: ‘Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family during this difficult time.

‘He was only with the organisation for a short time but was a joy to work with and will be sorely missed.’

British Judo performance director Nigel Donohue also paid tribute, hailing Fallon as ‘an outstanding judo fighter’.

He said: ‘It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig.

‘Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding judo fighter of his generation in world judo.’

Mr Fallon is pictured at an event at Birmingham’s NEC in July 2008 

He added that Fallon was ‘the most talented judoka I have ever had the pleasure to watch competing for Great Britain’, and that he will be ‘greatly missed by his family and the judo world’. 

Mr Fallon – who won the -60kg title at the World Championships in 2005 and the European title the following year – was found dead less than five months after becoming head coach of the Welsh Judo Association (WJA).

He remains the last British judo fighter to win a world title following his win in Cairo.

Mr Fallon is also one of only two British men – alongside Neil Adams – to hold the world and European titles at the same time.

The 36-year-old is pictured at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 

The 2002 Commonwealth Games champion went on to represent Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing seventh.

Ipswich-born Mr Fallon retired from the sport in 2011.

After spending some time in Austria, he was appointed as head coach of the WJA in March.

After news of the death, British Judo performance director Nigel Donohue paid tribute to the ‘outstanding judo fighter of his generation’.

He said: ‘It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig.

‘Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding judo fighter of his generation in world judo.’

He praised Mr Fallon as a ‘fantastic ambassador’ for the sport and ‘the most talented judoka I have ever had the pleasure to watch competing for Great Britain’.

‘He will be greatly missed by his family and the judo world, which has lost a talented athlete and coach.’

Chief executive of the WJA Darren Warner said: ‘Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family during this difficult time.

‘He was only with the organisation for a short time but was a joy to work with and will be sorely missed.’

For confidential support 24/7 in the UK, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected]  

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