Former Crowded House drummer found hanged

Paul Hester, the drummer from the 1980s rock band Crowded House, has hanged himself in a park near his home in Melbourne.

Hester, 46, had failed to return home after taking his dogs for a walk on Friday night. Ambulance officers arrived on the scene shortly after noon on Saturday, but were unable to revive him. An ambulance spokeswoman said that he had attempted suicide and then suffered strangulation.

Hester joined the New Zealand group Split Enz in 1983, then he and its singer, Neil Finn, formed Crowded House in 1985 with bass player Nick Seymour. It was one of the most successful Antipodean bands in the late 1980s and early 1990s,

Peter Green, a longtime friend of Hester, dismissed media reports that he was struggling with depression. Finn, who is now touring in London, said he was deeply saddened.

Hester quit Crowded House in 1994, citing touring pressures and declining motivation.