Troubled mum found hanged

Bolton Coroner's Court. Picture courtesy of Google
Bolton Coroner's Court. Picture courtesy of Google

A Wigan mum was found hanged just two days after being discharged from hospital where she was receiving treatment for self-harming, an inquest had heard.

Helen England was discovered on Boxing Day after police officers were called to her home in Lowton.

The inquest, which started yesterday and is expected to last three days, heard harrowing details about the 38-year-old’s troubles.

And Ms England’s mum said the family still wanted an explanation to why she was discharged from hospital.

The inquest, led by senior coroner Jennifer Leeming, heard that on December 22 Helen was taken to Wigan Infirmary after she had threatened to kill herself and had cut her arm and wrist.

She was discharged on Christmas Eve after a physical and psychiatric assessment.

But two days later, police officers found her hanged at her home.

Dr Chye Ng, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Wigan Infirmary, said: “I asked Helen if she had intended to end her life and she said no.

“Following a psychiatric assessment, she was deemed fit for discharge. If she was not deemed psychiatrically fit I would not have discharged her.”

He added that notes indicated she did not have any thoughts of suicide.

But Ms England’s mum, Celine Ainscough, said she wanted her to remain in hospital as she was concerned about her state of mind. She also added that her daughter had left two notes expressing her intention to end her life.

She said: “I was shocked as I wanted her to be sectioned.

“I am not critical of how she was treated for her wrist, but I am critical of how she was assessed to be fit to go home as she was mentally vulnerable. She should have been sectioned to get the help she needed.”

Ms England stayed with her mum over Christmas, but appeared agitated.

She returned to her Lowton home on Boxing Day, but as Mrs Ainscough was concerned, she called the mental health team, who informed the police.

But Mrs Leeming questioned the conduct of Greater Manchester Police, who had waited for an extra patrol to arrive, following advisory notes about an occupant in the house being violent and abusive.

However, those note related to another woman who also lived there and at no point were concerns raised about Ms England’s conduct.

An internal review found officers had acted correctly.

Mrs Ainscough said her daughter, who was born in Wigan but grew up in Elgin, Scotland, had developed mental health problems following the sudden and tragic death of her husband in 1999, whilst she was seven months pregnant.

Three weeks before she was due to give birth, she was sectioned and diagnosed as having bipolar.

Mrs Ainscough added she took care of her newborn son and on her release from the psychiatric hospital, she stayed with her.

They moved back to the Wigan area and Ms England had set up her own business, H England Properties Ltd, which subsequently failed.

A few years later she had a son, and Mrs Ainscough assisted in looking after both boys whilst Ms England suffered further mental health problems.

She endured a further set back in 2011 when her two sons were taken into care, following a house fire in which it was deemed she started deliberately, something she denied.

Mrs Ainscough added: “I believe it was an accident, caused by candles.

“This distressed Helen and her mental health deteriorated further.”

The inquest also revealed that Ms England first expressed intentions to harm herself in June 2013 and had been sectioned eight times.

Whilst there were periods where she improved, she would relapse and was under the care of community psychiatric nurses who constantly reviewed her progress.

The inquest is ongoing.