Open verdict on mystery hanging

A DISTRAUGHT brother has spoken of his shock at finding his sibling had hanged himself.

A coroner has recorded an open verdict into the death of John Wright, who was found hanged at his home in Warrington Road, Abram by his girlfriend Debbie Barnes in the early hours of October 10 last year.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Wright, 41, was a very sociable and outgoing man who enjoyed nights out at the pub with his friends and playing badminton.

His brother Alan Wright told the court that he had been shocked when he was called to the house by Ms Barnes.

He added: “Debbie called me to say that John was doing something silly on the landing. I went round to the house straight away but I didn’t realise that John had already done it.

“I couldn’t think of any reason why he would do something like that, I still can’t, it’s still a mystery, an absolute shock.”

According to Ms Barnes, Mr Wright had never shown any sign of depression or that he was suffering with any problems. She told the court: “I had been with John on and off for 13 years. He was always up for a laugh and enjoyed going out with friends.

“I met him at a pub on the day before he died but we went back to his house separately. When he got back, he seemed to be in a bad mood and started calling me names.

“He then said he was going to talk to Harry, who was a friend of his who had committed suicide a few months before. He was drunk and I told him to stop talking silly and go to bed.”

Pathologist Stephen Mills found Mr Wright was more than two and a half times over the legal alcohol limit which would have impaired his judgement.

Assistant deputy coroner Peter Watson ruled that Mr Wright may not have intended to take his own life because he did not leave a note explaining his intentions and he had no history of depression.

He recorded an open verdict and added: “I appreciate that it’s a mystery as to why Mr Wright died and this could have been a cry for help.”