Mum found son hanged

A man hanged himself days before he was due to fly to Cyprus to start a new life with his family, an inquest heard.

Christopher Rathbone, 32, who lived with his parents, was found at their home in St James' Court, Orrell, on July 25 last year.

He was due to leave Wigan two days later to move to Pathos, where the family owned a villa.

At Bolton Coroners Court, assistant deputy coroner Peter Watson heard how Mr Rathbone had sought help to overcome an addiction to alcohol.

His mother, Carole, told the inquest that her son had not worked for six years because of his spiralling addiction and that he acknowledged that he had a problem.

He tried detox treatments, took medication which made him feel violently ill whenever he drank and had been prescribed

Chlordiazepoxide, an anti-anxiety agent used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. After some initial success he failed to turn up to appointments booked with specialists from the council's alcohol and drugs services.

Mrs Rathbone said: "The last time I saw him was on the morning before he died.

"I decided to go shopping and left the house at around 11.45am. I didn't tell him that I was going out. When I came back at around 2.45pm I opened the door and saw Christopher suspended from the top of the stairs."

A week before his death Mr Rathbone slashed his wrists and days later warned his mum that he would take his own life, dangling a belt in front of her face.

She said: "He was the most loving of men when he wasn't drinking. But when he did he had an anger inside him which he couldn't control."

Dr James Harrison, a pathologist from Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, said a blood sample taken from Mr Rathbone's body showed he was three times over the drink-drive limit when he died.

Assistant deputy coroner Peter Watson returned an open verdict saying that there was not enough evidence to suggest that Christopher had a clear intention to take his own life because of the level of alcohol that he had consumed.

He said: "I am impressed by the efforts that he made to fight his addiction to alcohol.

"Christopher was a man who had everything to live for and a new life in Cyprus to look forward to."