Tragic death of Wigan dad who was looking forward to the future after birth of son

A Wigan dad who had “virtually his whole life ahead of him” died suddenly months after the birth of his son, an inquest heard.
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Bolton Coroner’s Court was told Jonathon Winder, 32, was looking forward to the future with his partner Lauren Jones and their baby.

But sadly he was found unresponsive in bed at home in Ince on Monday, June 5 and paramedics confirmed he had died.

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Mr Winder was described as “vibrant” and “outgoing” as he grew up and he became an apprentice joiner after leaving school, before moving to Australia and working in joinery and landscape gardening.

Bolton Coroner's CourtBolton Coroner's Court
Bolton Coroner's Court
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He returned to the UK and planned to join the army, but changed his mind after starting a relationship during a trip to Sweden.

The couple were together were several years and had two children, living in the UK for a period before returning to Sweden.

But Mr Winder was “distraught” when he returned home from working away to discover his partner and children had left, with no information about where they had gone.

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The court heard this marked a big change in his life and he spent time in the UK and other parts of the world, before going back to Sweden when his ex-partner applied for full custody of their children.

Proceedings were “fraught” and his job was seasonal in Norway, so he decided to go home.

At this time – around four or five years ago – Mr Winder started taking drugs and his family feared he had “gone off the rails”.

However, he started a relationship with Miss Jones – described by Mr Winder’s father David as his son’s “saviour” – and he worked hard to stop taking drugs.

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He made “significant change in his life” with support from We Are With You and was delighted when his son was born in March.

Mr Winder was prescribed methadone, but Miss Jones said he gained weight and did not think the dose was enough.

He started buying illicit methadone and took non-prescribed drugs including diazepam because he wanted to be less reliant on methadone, she said.

Miss Jones said her partner tried to contact his children in Sweden on Sunday, June 4, but was blocked his ex-partner.

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He went drinking in Wigan town centre and was tired when he returned home, so he went to sleep for a while, before spending time with his partner and son.

Mr Winder then went to bed for the night, with Miss Jones explaining he asked for his methadone from her bedside table between 2am and 3am.

He consumed the whole bottle, which was supposed to be three days’ supply.

At around 10am Miss Jones realised there was something wrong with Mr Winder and called 999. Paramedics confirmed he had died.

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His cause of death was acute methadone and benzodiazepine toxicity, with the court hearing the drugs have similar effects which can be exacerbated when taken together.

Coroner Simon Nelson said he did not believe Mr Winder intended to end his life and recorded his death was drug-related.

He said: “If nothing else comes out of this inquiry, I hope the message can get out to other users and they can better appreciate the risks involved in assuming that they will be okay, that they will see the light of day.”