Inquest: Musician Andy Banks’ death was accidental

A popular musician and sculptor from Dewsbury died after drowning in a drain, an inquest heard.

It is thought Andy Banks was trying to retrieve his car keys but became trapped.

Mr Banks was well known throughout the district as a member of various bands, including Eric The Viaduct and Ship of Fools.

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Huddersfield Coroner’s Court yesterday heard the 49-year-old had performed at the Swan pub in Liversedge on New Year’s Day.

He left at around 11.30pm and walked back to his car, whichwas parked outside a friend’s home in King Street, Heckmondwike.

Blood and urine tests found traces of cannabis and high levels of alcohol .

Coroner Tim Ratcliffe said it was unclear whether Mr Banks planned to drive home to Stonehyrst Avenue or put his belongings in the car before walking back.

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But he said the evidence suggested he dropped his keys down the drain, lifted the cover off and reached down to fish them out.

Pathologist Karen Ramsden said keys were found in Mr Bank’s right hand.

She said a post mortem examination found signs consistent with having been drowned.

The court heard people living nearby raised the alarm after hearing shouts.

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Fire crews used specialist equipment to free Mr Banks, who was pronounced dead at the scence shortly after 12.30am.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Ratcliffe said: “This was in many ways a rather unusual and tragic death.”