Man found hanged after struggling with Crohn’s battle

Bolton Coroner's Court. Picture courtesy of Google
Bolton Coroner's Court. Picture courtesy of Google

A Wigan man was found hanged after finding it increasingly difficult to cope with his worsening medical problems, an inquest heard.

Bolton Coroner’s Court was told Carl Matthew Downing, who was known by his middle name, was discovered in the garage at his home by his partner Vanessa Farrell on May 26.

The court was told Matthew, from Hindley, had moderate quantities of amphetamines in his system and in the week leading up to his death had been worried about a benefits assessment.

The inquest heard Matthew was diagnosed with bowel condition Crohn’s disease in 2002 and had surgery, only to be given the bad news that it had returned around a decade later.

His health gradually worsened as he developed increasing pain in his joints and he began to struggle with low moods and depression.

Ms Farrell told the court she and Matthew, 43, had argued in the days leading up to his death after an old problem with debt resurfaced.

He went out into the garage at their Rockbourne Close home on the evening of May 25 and did not come in for a meal. They then exchanged several text messages and Ms Farrell saw another had been sent when she woke up the following morning.

She went to the garage and found Matthew there. Paramedics attended but were sadly unable to save him.

Police ruled out any suspicious circumstances. His GP said his mood seemed stable with the help of medication and he had never expressed thoughts of self-harm.

The court heard that prior to his Crohn’s diagnosis Matthew had enjoyed working as a motor mechanic and had gone to the gym and socialised regularly, but became more reclusive due to his illness.

Assistant coroner Rachael Griffin said there was an element of planning but the drugs may have affected his judgement and it may have been a cry for help.

Recording a narrative verdict, Ms Griffin said: “Carl Matthew Downing died in circumstances where his intention remains unclear.

“I wish to say how sorry I am to all his family. The circumstances in which Matthew came about his death are very tragic and it will have come as a great shock to you all.”