Tragic death of Wigan man who may have been 'experimenting'

A plasterer found dead in his family’s home was known for doing “daft things” and may have been experimenting, an inquest heard.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 10:31 am

Paul Morris 42, had “everything to live for” and had never expressed any thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

But an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard he was found dead at his mother’s home in Orrell on August 14.

He had been staying there for a couple of days while his mother Joan Morris was away, but she became concerned when she returned home and could not get inside.

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Bolton Coroner's Court
Bolton Coroner's Court

Keys had been left in both the front and rear doors and she could not get her son’s attention, so neighbour Eric Galvin got his ladder to look inside the house.

When they could not see Mr Morris, Mr Galvin removed the sash of a window to climb into the house and open the door for Mrs Morris.

Mr Morris, who also lived in Orrell, was found dead.

A post-mortem examination found his cause of death was suspension by ligature.

Consultant pathologist Dr David Barker said it was not possible to say exactly when he died, but it may have been the day before he was found.

The inquest heard he had consumed enough alcohol to be “moderately intoxicated”, at just below double to legal drink-drive limit, but it was not known if he was affected by this.

Mr Morris’ partner Dawn Priestley said he was a keen fisherman, loved his family, and enjoyed going for a curry and a pint with his friends.

He had plans to look forward to, including fishing trips and going for a meal for her birthday.

His sister Lyndsey Alexander said Mr Morris had never talked of harming himself and had in fact spoken against it after two friends took their own lives.

She described her brother as a “risk-taker” and said she did not believe he intended to take his life.

“Paul would do daft things. He had done daft things in the past. I don’t know if he was experimenting to see what it was like because he no reason to,” she said.

Mr Morris was last seen by Mr Galvin on August 13, when they spoke over the garden fence.

Mr Galvin said he appeared to be in good spirits.

Coroner Simon Nelson said he was satisfied Mr Morris died by his own hand, but not that he intended the consequences of his actions.

He recorded a narrative conclusion which included the inquest had been “unable to clarify the intent of the deceased”.

Mr Nelson said: “It remains a possibility that he was experimenting, putting himself through possibly what his friends - I think one of them certainly - had experienced, and sadly it has gone too far.”

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