Ex-army man took cocktail of drugs

News story
News story

A FORMER soldier killed himself with a cocktail of drugs after his marriage broke down, an inquest heard.

John-Paul Callaghan of St Clements Court, Worsley Mesnes, had been struggling to cope after splitting with his wife Joanne last December.

The 36-year-old, who was a regular intravenous drug user, became more reliant on heroin and cocaine as an “escape route” to his problems, the Bolton Coroner’s Court was told.

After his marriage began to unravel, he told family and friends on a number of occasions that he wanted to take his own life.

Mr Callaghan had a successful career serving in the First Queen’s Lancashire Regiment for nine years.

During this time he met his future wife Joannne in 2003.

The couple had three children and when Mr Callaghan finally left the army he began working in construction.

His new job involved lengthy spells away from home working on the remote Shetland Islands for three weeks each month.

During this time his marriage broke down and his wife moved away to Yorkshire in January and he became upset at not being able to see his children as often as he would like.

Mr Callaghan would visit in the week he was free each month, however, as his drug taking became more frequent his lifestyle became more “erratic”.

Speaking at the inquest, Mrs Callaghan said: “He just wouldn’t stick to what he said he would do. The drugs just came before anyone else.”

She added: “It started off and he would just take them sometimes as a bit of a high and to take his mind off things. But then it snowballed and he started to use them as an escape route.”

On the evening of June 22, after learning his estranged wife was now in another relationship, Mr Callaghan took a lethal dose of both cocaine and heroin while staying with his nephew Robert Callaghan.

Once Robert realised what had happened he contacted the emergency services.

Mr Callaghan was taken to Wigan Infirmary where doctors worked desperately to save him but were unable to revive him and he died in the early hours of June 23.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, area coroner Alan Walsh gave Mr Callaghan enormous credit for being a “hard-working man who provided for his children despite any problems he had”.

He added: “I believe he couldn’t take it anymore.

“The main focus should now be on the children.”