TRIBUTES have been paid at an inquest into the death of a "fun and outgoing" 32-year-old who was renowned among darts players in Furness.

Nikki Colin Lavery - who said to have a "great personality" - took his own life after drinking for 15 hours on Christmas Day, the hearing was told.

He was found dead at his Barrow home on Lindal Street on Boxing Day.

Mr Lavery's partner for more than seven years, Christine Southward, paid tribute to the father-of-four.

She said: "He was a fun person to be with. He loved his life and family and children, and he was mad about darts and Manchester City.

"He enjoyed working and I always called him a Jack of all trades. He had a great personality and was very outgoing. If he could work outdoors he would.

"He was in contact with his children and was supposed to see his daughter on December 22, but she did not turn up and he was incredibly distraught.

"It took a lot for him to speak and open up and could be very quiet when he was upset."

Mr Lavery was well-known among local darts leagues as captain of the Last Orders in Barrow and reached the finals of the The Mail's Darts Championship in 2017.

The couple, along with family and friends, had been drinking since 9am on Christmas morning, before going to the Last Orders pub at 1pm, where Mr Lavery stayed until midnight.

Owner Kevin Hinchley said: "He was a brilliant lad and we were close friends. He never seemed to worry or moan about anything.

"He was very sociable and everyone knew him. He was just a really good guy.

"This just does not fit with the Nikki I knew."

David Campbell spent the day with Mr Lavery at the house and pub.

He said: "It was a happy house on Christmas morning. We had some drinks and were laughing and joking all day.

"When he left the pub he shook my hand and told me he would see me tomorrow."

Mr Lavery's father, Jason Williams, said the incident was "not in his nature."

He said: "He loved grafting and he was really well thought of by everyone who knew him and always did a great job.

"This was not in his nature. None of it makes sense.

"I spoke to him on Christmas morning and he said he would see us on Boxing Day to collect his presents, and asked me to wish his mother a merry Christmas."

A toxicology report also found cannabis in Mr Lavery's system.

Assistant coroner Paul O'Donnell recorded a narrative conclusion at the inquest at Barrow Town Hall yesterday, saying: "Nikki took his own life while under the influence of alcohol.

"He was clearly a popular young man and spent Christmas surrounded by family and friends and the mood seemed merry.

"He dealt with the irregular contact with his children with drink, anger and depression, but in recent years seems to have become more accepting.

"He did drink an awful lot of alcohol, from prosecco in the morning and beer and shots in the afternoon and evening.

"There was no suicide note and there was nothing in his behaviour to suggest he would do this.

"The only trigger I can see is that he was unhappy to spend Christmas away from his children.

"The level of alcohol in his system leads me to believe the test for suicide has not been met."