A WIGAN man exonerated of criminal charges was found with a ligature around his neck by a canal, an inquest has heard.
A cyclist discovered Graham Bushell sitting with his back to some railings opposite the Leeds to Liverpool Canal near to Poolstock Lane on March 17.
Bolton Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Bushell had suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts after being charged with improper conduct 18 months ago at a care home in Wales where he was the assistant manager.
The 42-year-old, who lived with his parents in Helmsman Way, Poolstock, was a divorced father-of-one who worked as a food processor at a local ice-cream firm.
On the day he died, Mr Bushell had been out drinking for the first time in three months. Friend Anthony Hooper, who gave evidence in the court, said Mr Bushell was in high spirits.
He said: “I bumped into Graham and I couldn’t believe it when I saw him drinking.
“We went to a pub and had a few pints and had a laugh.
“We went to the Honeysuckle pub and he seemed cheerful but then he just left without telling anyone.”
Mr Bushell had split up with his long-term partner, Sarah Martin, in 2010 when he started drinking heavily to cope with his depression after losing his job at the care home. He later admitted himself to a psychriatric unit in Leigh.
His father, John Bushell, said: “We knew that John had tried to take his life when he was in the hospital. He seemed to be getting better in himself, he had gone through a bad time but he seemed to be getting over it.
“Being suspended from work due to unsubstantiated allegations of improper conduct badly affected him and he started drinking.”
Mr Bushell was cleared of any wrongdoing at the care home and just two days before his death, his former boss visited him to inform him that somebody else had been convicted of the crimes.
Dr Monica Agarwal, consultant pathologist at Wigan Infirmary, said Mr Bushell had died as a result of hanging.
Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh recorded an open verdict. He said: “I cannot be sure that Graham intended to take his own life as there was no note and he had seemed happy earlier in the day.”