Protest disrupts suicide inquest

A Wigan man's sister stormed out of an inquest into his death in protest when his former counsellor took the witness stand.

Eugene Michael Kenny, 42, who suffered from depression, was found hanged in woodland at Red Pond, Worsley Mesnes, by his sister-in-law Karen Paggett on September 2 last year, Bolton Coroner's Court heard.

As Peter Barraclough, a community mental health nurse with the Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust, took the stand, Mr Kenny's sister Tara Kenny shouted: "I hope you're happy now. I hope you're happy with what you've done."

She then walked out. After the hearing Ms Kenny claimed her brother, of Fisher Close, Worsley Mesnes, had been made to leave the specialist mental health hospital against the wishes of the family.

She said the family felt let down by the care Mr Kenny received once discharged from Leigh Infirmary. Ms Kenny said: "He was told when he left there would always be a bed for him if he needed to go back, but three days after he left he wanted to go back and they would not let him."

Mr Barraclough told the hearing he first met Mr Kenny in 1995 when he was a patient at Leigh Infirmary.

Mr Kenny had a history of depression and had separated from his wife Kathy over an alcohol problem.

He said Mr Kenny was anxious and pre-occupied with the belief that all the painkillers he had taken in the past had accumulated inside him and damaged his body.

But about a year before his death it was felt he had improved enough to be discharged.

Mr Kenny returned to the home he previously shared with his wife and four children and was given anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication.

For eight months after his release he also had regular appointments with Mr Barraclough. But from January 2008 until his death Mr Kenny failed to attend any appointments, the court heard.

Mr Barraclough said: "Towards the end of that period I honestly thought that he was going to be OK. I am sorry the family is disappointed in me."

On the day of his death Mrs Kenny returned from the shops to find her ex-husband gone and his phone left behind. Concerned, she went to her sister, who agreed to take her dogs out and look for him.

As she walked through woods at Red Pond she found Mr Kenny.

DS Peter Morris of Wigan CID told the court a note was found on Mr Kenny. A second note was later found at his home.

Coroner Jennifer Leeming returned a verdict that Mr Kenny took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

She said: "We as a society do not generally accept that you can die as a consequence of a mental illness just as you can die as a result of a physical illness because the mental illness causes what happens."