Popular Norwich DJ Craig Johnson who took his own life will be remembered at Pride celebrations
PUBLISHED: 13:22 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:31 28 July 2017
Pride celebrations in Norwich tomorrow will be a chance for many to honour a “motivated, driven, and ambitious” Norwich DJ who took his own life.
Craig Johnson, 24, was found dead at his home in Radcliffe Road, Drayton, on February 1.
And an inquest into his death today heard how he had struggled with depression and anxiety for many years.
But friends Craig Hunter and Ben Easton said he would be remembered not for his down days but for how hard he worked.
Mr Hunter spoke of how popular Mr Johnson had been, and how it was poignant that friends would celebrate his life at Norwich’s Pride event.
He said: “He was very sensitive and caring. He would normally have been involved in Pride, he was so well-known in the LGBT community. He’d have been in the Pride parade or in the lounge bar DJ-ing.”
Mr Easton added: “He was much loved by so many friends. I used to go round and he’d want to watch a movie or cuddle up on the sofa with his dog Bruce. He liked to have a good time.”
Mr Johnson, who was known in the industry as DJ Craggle, was a regular face in Norwich’s nightlife, regularly playing at The Loft and Qube nightclubs. He also worked at Aviva, but his passion was his music, especially dance and club classics. He started DJ-ing at just 15, and began his music career in a small pub with a friend.
After gaining more experience, he eventually went solo and when he moved to Norwich he began working in nightclubs across East Anglia with top DJs such a Glenn White from Vibe and Kiss FM.
Reading evidence at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, area coroner Yvonne Blake said friends had reported Mr Johnson had not sounded right in the days before his death, and had said he was going to take his own life. The court heard when Mr Hunter called round to check on him on January 31 there was no answer at his home, although he could see the television was on. He called the police, who broke into the house to find Mr Johnson dead. A statement from Mr Johnson’s mother, Debra Banham, said her son had a difficult childhood. But she added: “In the last few years he’d really got his life together and made real progress.”
The medical cause of death was given as asphyxiation and Ms Blake recorded a conclusion of suicide.