Grieving dad took his own life

Bolton Coroners' Court
Bolton Coroners' Court
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A GRIEVING motor engineer was found hanged at home hours after viewing a suicide website.

An inquest at Bolton heard that self-employed Stephen Winstanley had a circle of supportive pals and remained very close to his loving family.

But the 45-year-old Golborne man remained “devastated” over the death of his partner and child’s mother, two years earlier.

The hearing was told that Stephen, who had his own garage in Hindley Green and was building a second, had attempted to take his own life, over-dosing on his father Jim’s insulin prescription, in April after finishing with his girlfriend and the death of his beloved pet dog.

And after his recovery he was successfully treated for clinical depression by his GP, a mental health specialist found him to be positive and responsible about his future and fully aware of all the people in his life who cared for him so deeply.

But after he failed to show up for work, on November 27, his worried friend and fellow mechanic Daniel Markland borrowed a key and entered his boss’s Wigan Road home.

He then discovered Stephen’s body and called for help from the emergency services.

After returning to work following his overdose Mr Winstanley told workmates that he “wouldn’t see his 46th birthday” and he would make sure that there was no one to save him the next time he tried to take his life.

But because of his often black humour and personality, they didn’t think he meant it literally.

Mother Mrs Frances Winstanley told the coroner that her son lived a busy and active life with many hobbies and interests ranging from sea angling to riding jet skis.

He was also a devoted and conscientious father who regularly took his children for days out.

She saw him the day before his death and he had appeared in good spirits, kissed her on the cheek and told her he loved her.

Greater Manchester Police Coroners Officer Julie-Ann Hyde said that no note was found, a search of the memory of his iPhone showed him to have visited a suicide website during his last hours at work.

Assistant Coroner Rachael Griffin said: “Stephen would do anything for anyone but was affected greatly from things that happened in his life.”

Verdict: Suicide