Tragic death of dad months after hanging bid

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A WIGAN dad who suffered severe brain damage in a failed bid to hang himself in his son’s bedroom died in hospital following a series of seizures.

Tragic Craig Mullins was left severely brain damaged, blind and immobile after attempting to hang himself following a drunken argument with his girlfriend in August 2011.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard how he was rushed into intensive care and his life was saved, but his quality of life from then on was described as “very poor”.

Shona Gregson, the mother of Mr Mullins’s son, Aaron, told how her relationship with Mr Mullins had been “up and down” and that, although he would occasionally say things like “I couldn’t care if I died”, he had never acted on them.

She told how on the night of the attempted hanging they had been out drinking to celebrate her birthday - but he had then disappeared.

After making her own way home and leaving her key in the door, Ms Gregson was awoken by Mr Mullins behaving “irrationally”.

He had apparently broken in after smashing a window before pulling down a curtain rail in the bedroom and punching a door.

When he continued shouting, Ms Gregson said she went downstairs to sleep on the couch but then heard a coughing noise from upstairs and went to check Mr Mullins was all right.

She found him hanging from the loft space in their son’s room and immediately tried to get him down and called 999.

Mr Mullins’s mother, Sharon Burgess, told how he was later transferred to Stocks Hall Care Home in St Helens - where he received “excellent” 24-hour care.

But, on January 22 of this year, he suffered a series of seizures in which his body went completely rigid and he would momentarily stop breathing.

He died the next day, aged just 23.

Dr Andrew Ashton, a consultant in emergency medicine at Whiston Hospital, told how Mr Mullins had been carefully watched during the night and had been treated on one occasion by the hospital’s medical emergency team.

But he said a nurse had then found Mr Mullins unresponsive - after checking on him 15 minutes earlier.

Family members told how they had been upset by an apparent miscommunication over whether Mr Mullins, formerly of Laithwaite Road, Worsley Hall, would be watched at all times.

Pathologist David Barker recorded the cause of death as acute hypoxia - a lack of oxygen to the brain - seizures and pre-existing hypoxic brain damage following hanging.

Deputy coroner Alan Walsh called for doctors and nurses to be clearer when communicating with distressed families before recording a narrative verdict.

It read: “Craig Mullins died as a consequence of injuries sustained when he self-suspended himself by ligature but the evidence is unclear as to his intentions at that time.”