mystery over drowned dad

MYSTERY surrounds the death of a man who drowned in the canal next to the JJB Stadium.

Ian Slater, 42, was found floating in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on May 2 last year, over an hour after his worried son had reported him missing from the home they shared on Jasmine Road, Worsley Hall.

Mr Slater’s son, Ian Slater Jnr, thought he heard his father leave the home at 6am that morning.

His body was found by a man walking his dog at 7.15am.

After hearing evidence from Wigan Infirmary consultant pathologist Dr James Harrison, and Det Con Elaine Dickinson from Greater Manchester Police, Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh recorded an open verdict at an inquest in Bolton.

The court heard that Mr Slater had suffered from years of depression after a motorbike crash in 2004.

He had told his family that he wanted to kill himself and was referred to the Wigan Community Mental Health Team.

In 2006 he attempted to commit suicide by slashing his wrists and was seen by Gillian Maloney, a mental health practitioner with the Crisis Team at Leigh Infirmary.

Mr Slater had attended appointments with his GP councillor, Dr Sheila Joan Shaw, and took medication for depression and sleeping problems.

But, by the end of the year, he had cancelled his appointments and had stopped collecting his prescriptions without his son knowing.

On the morning of May 1 Mr Slater took his son’s car without permission.

When he returned hours later he told Ian Slater Jnr that he had driven to a bridge over a motorway and contemplated throwing himself off it.

Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh said: “How Mr Slater came to be in the canal cannot be proven.

“I can only offer my sympathies to Mr Slater’s son.”