Cut to arm led to St Albans father’s death

PUBLISHED: 18:42 22 November 2011

Coroner's Court.

Coroner's Court.

Archant

A ST ALBANS father found dead in his bathroom after cutting his arm died accidentally and did not intend killing himself, a coroner has ruled.

Christopher Jones, 48, was discovered after police forced entry into his home at College Place, St Albans, on June 6 this year.

But an inquest on Tuesday heard that in her post-mortem report, a pathologist said she believed that Mr Jones might have died 24 hours before being found.

Herts coroner, Edward Thomas, said that Mr Jones’s life changed after he suffered severe head injuries in a “terrible” motor vehicle accident in 1985 when he was in his 20s.

After spending six weeks in a coma he was left unable to speak for quite some time and he lost the ability to read and write.

He was not able to work, his first and second marriages broke down, and he also lost his home. But the inquest heard that he enjoyed regular contact with his children.

Mr Jones was described as a gentle man, living with severe head injuries, who was loved by his family.

The inquest was told that he had been receiving psychiatric help and appeared to have been sad about his circumstances. His rent had increased and he was worried about his finances, felt socially isolated and was unemployed which added to a sense of frustration.

The inquest heard that Mr Jones drank out of boredom but there were no signs of alcohol dependency and there was nothing to indicate that he was feeling suicidal.

While there were no signs of a struggle or any other injury when he was found by police, the inquest was told that it appeared he had been drinking alcohol prior to his death.

The inquest was told that a planned visit with his children had not gone ahead as his ex-wife was concerned about his drinking, and access was denied.

The coroner said that Christopher was a “lovely man who didn’t want to die.”

He added that Christopher cut his arm and despite his attempts to stem the blood, had collapsed in the bathroom. The inquest was told that his death was accidental.

The coroner paid tribute to Christopher’s family and in particular his mother for being “marvellous” with him.


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