A man is recovering after accidentally hanging himself on a noose set up as a Halloween prop at a gay club in Bletchley near Milton Keynes.

The incident happened at Pink Punters just after 11pm on Saturday 27 October.

He was taken to hospital, where his condition was initially described as critical.

In a statement, Superintendent Barry Halliday of Thames Valley Police said:

“I appreciate that this incident may have caused some concern in the community. However, I would stress that it appears to be a tragic accident and is not any type of hate-related crime.

“Fortunately, the man’s condition has improved considerably in recent hours. Police will work with the local council and other partner agencies to investigate the safety of the event.”

Club owner Frank McMahon has defended the safety of the prop and claims it was a “freak accident”.

“It’s just a rope with a large noose which doesn’t go tight around the neck. People use it so they can have photographs taken. We’ve never had a previous incident with it.

“It’s one of several props that we use, and is low down to the ground. We do have an excellent safety system in place and we believe it to be a freak accident,” Mr McMahon said, according to the Press Association.