Tragedy of loving Wigan mum-of-four who "could not cope anymore"

Natalie Hughes
Natalie Hughes

A “bubbly” mother-of-four struggling to cope after the breakdown of her relationship was found hanged by her partner, an inquest heard.


Natalie Hughes, known as Nat, was discovered at her home in Golborne by the father of her children, Sean Dawson, from whom she had separated.

An inquest held yesterday at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard he went to her house on Grimshaw Court at 7.05pm on October 28 as he became concerned when she did not answer his text messages and phone calls.

Mr Dawson had left the property just an hour earlier, having gone to see Miss Hughes when she told him she had taken paracetamol.

He saw a tub of 16 tablets was half full, the inquest heard.

Miss Hughes, 34, said she had been sick, bringing up the tablets, and she told him not to call for an ambulance or her mother.

Mr Dawson stayed with her until around 6pm, when she asked him to leave.

He phoned Miss Hughes at 6.15pm to check on her and received a text message telling him not to take the children to her house.

After cooking for the children at around 6.45pm, Mr Dawson tried to contact Miss Hughes by phone call and text message, but had no response.

Worried about her, he went to her house and found her hanged.

The emergency services were called and she was taken to Wigan Infirmary, but died that evening.

Mr Dawson was asked during the inquest why he had not called an ambulance after she took the paracetamol tablets.

He said Miss Hughes had threatened to not speak to him again if he contacted her mother and he had stayed with her for 90 minutes.

A post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of her death was hanging.

Toxicology tests showed she had nine times the therapeutic level of paracetamol in her body and twice the level of codeine.
Ibuprofen and anti-depressant citalopram were found at lower levels.

The inquest heard police found several packets of medication with tablets missing when they went to her home.

A goodbye note expressing her intention to take her own life was also discovered.

The inquest heard Miss Hughes was a “bubbly and very fun-loving person”, who was heavily involved in the community and did a lot of fund-raising for deprived children.

She had been in a relationship with Mr Dawson for around 15 years, but it had broken down and they were living apart.

The inquest heard she had anxiety and depression and had a repeat prescription for citalopram.

Miss Hughes started to feel low in mood after the birth of their fourth child.

She saw a GP at Golborne Health Centre in January 2018 and said she had felt anxious for 14 months, was paranoid and thought she was suffering from post-natal depression.

She said she did not have suicidal thoughts and declined counselling.

Miss Hughes last saw the GP in August, when she again refused counselling.

On the day she died, she had gone to work as a barmaid in a pub, but the landlord sent her home as she was not feeling well.

After retiring to consider her conclusion, coroner Rachel Syed returned to court and thanked Miss Hughes’ friends and family for attending the inquest.

She said: “It is clear to me, just visibly as I look to the courtroom, that Nat was a loving mother who was doted on by her family and the community and this is reflected by the fact that so many people have turned out for her inquest today.”

Recording a conclusion of suicide, she said: “I find that this was a well thought-out and prepared act and I am satisfied that Nat hanged herself when she knew she wouldn’t be disturbed. Her note indicated, in her own words, that she could not cope anymore.”

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