'Lovely' Wigan dad died by suicide while battling mental health issues

A Wigan dad who doted on his children died by suicide while struggling with his mental health, an inquest heard.

Gareth Lancaster, known as Gaz, was “not the kind of person” to seek help and kept his emotions to himself when his mother died from cancer.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard he had not seen his GP in the six months before he died and had never been diagnosed with a mental health issue.

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Gaz Lancaster with fiancee Tandia Constantine and their children Annie and Albert

But his partner Tandia Constantine believed he was struggling with his mental health before she found him hanged at their home on Baytree Road, Beech Hill, at around 8pm on June 8.

She ran to a neighbour’s house to get help and emergency services were called, with Mr Lancaster still alive when he was taken to Wigan Infirmary by ambulance.

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The inquest heard he had swelling on the brain and had a “high” level of alcohol in his blood.

Mr Lancaster was taken to intensive care and doctors suspected he had a severe brain injury, which was confirmed 36 hours after admission with brain stem tests.

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They spoke to his loved ones and the decision was made to withdraw life support.

Mr Lancaster died on June 10, aged 29, with his cause of death recorded as hypoxic brain injury due to hanging.

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Coroner Peter Sigee said a handwritten note was found which he interpreted as “a statement of intent on Gareth’s behalf to end his life".

He concluded that Mr Lancaster died by suicide, saying he was satisfied that he intended to end his life.

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Mr Lancaster was described in court as “funny, hard-working and outgoing”. He “doted” on his two children, liked socialising with his family and friends, and was employed as a plumbing and heating engineer.

After the hearing, Zena Ralphs, the mother of Mr Lancaster’s partner Tandia, said: “He was a lovely lad. He was the best lad you could ever meet, the hardest worker you could ever meet. His little ones have no daddy now.”

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