Musician, 49, drowned after he became trapped in a drain as he tried to retrieve his car keys on New Years Day
Andy Banks, 49, became trapped in a drain while attempting to fetch his keys
Fire fighters spent 40 minutes trying to rescue Mr Banks before he was pronounced deadMr Banks had spent the hours drinking with friends in a nearby bar

Conor Sheils


15:30 GMT, 11 April 2013



15:56 GMT, 11 April 2013

Andy Banks, died after falling into a drain as he tried to retrieve some dropped keys on New Year's Day

An inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death after Andy Banks died when he became trapped in a drain on New Years Day

A musician drowned after he became trapped in a drain while trying to retrieve his car keys, an inquest has heard.

Andy Banks, 49, drowned as he searched for his keys in a drain just minutes after leaving The Swan pub in Liversedge, West Yorks on New Years Day.

An inquest at Kirklees Coroners Court heard how locals called police when they found the popular musician trapped in a drain where he had fallen while searching for his keys.

Fire crews spent 40 minutes attempting to free him before he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The court heard how Mr Banks had removed the drain cover and the water level was a foot below the street surface at the time.

It is not clear whether he planned to drive or put his belongings in his car before walking to his home in nearby Dewsbury.

Deputy Acting Coroner for West Yorkshire Tim Ratcliffe said the evidence suggested he dropped the keys down the drain, lifted the cover off and reached down to fish them out.

Pathologist Karen Ramsden said keys were found in his right hand.

A post mortem examination found signs consistent with having been drowned.

The Swan pub in Liversedge, West Yorks

Andy Banks spent the hours before his death entertaining friends at the Swan pub in Liversedge, West Yorks on New Years Day

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Ratcliffe said: “It's reasonable to draw inference on the balance of probabilities that for some reason his keys got down the drain and he was trying to retrieve them.

“This was in many ways a rather unusual and tragic death.”

Mr Banks was a well-known local musician and sculptor who played for a number of local bands.

Friend Sharon Brogden said Andy was a sensitive and generous man who had recently opened rehearsal rooms in Dewsbury for bands to practice in.

She said: “That's something he decided to do, because that's the sort of person he was. He was very sensitive and very honest.

“It wasn't his time to go. He had everything going. Everything seemed to be going well.”