Dad's suicide after row over drinking

A POPULAR dad handed his wedding ring back to his wife and said he didn't need it where he was going two days before he was found dead, an inquest has heard.

Thursday, 14th January 2016, 12:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2016, 12:29 pm
John-Paul Nelson

John Paul Nelson, 40, and his wife Wendy had been arguing about the amount Mr Nelson, known to his friends as Nelly, had been drinking in the weeks leading up to his death.

The last time Mrs Nelson saw her husband was on November 2 when the pair argued because he had lied about going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the night before and had instead been to the pub.

Mrs Nelson told Bolton Coroners Court yesterday her husband did not need to drink all the time and could go for days without touching a drop.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But when he did he would drink to excess and she asked him to go to an AA meeting.

She said: “He told me he was going to a meeting in Leigh but he didn’t come home until 10.30pm and I could tell he had been drinking.

“He said he had gone but in the morning I asked him if I could speak to the person he had gone with and he admitted he hadn’t been.

“We argued and he left. He gave me his wedding ring and said ‘I don’t need this where I am going. Tell my mum, my sister and my kids that I love them’.”

Mrs Nelson said she tried to contact her husband after he left but he did not answer his phone. She heard through a friend that he was okay.

“I thought he had gone on a bender and would come home with his tail between his legs when the money ran out,” she said.

But Mr Nelson was found hanged from a tree in woodland behind Brecon Drive in Hindley Green, where he lived with his wife, at around 6.15am on November 4 by a dog walker.

The court heard a post-mortem found Mr Nelson had alcohol in his system which pathologist Alan Padwell said was the equivalent to four or five pints. He said he couldn’t say how this might have affected him.

Shirley Bury, the landlady at The Swan Hotel on Atherton Road, said Mr Nelson had been in the pub and left at around 1am on November 4.

She said he had been in the pub since 2pm the previous day and had been drinking Carlsberg but that when he left the pub he didn’t seem drunk. She said he seemed fine and the conversation with him had been normal throughout the night. He was the last person to leave the pub, where he regularly drank, and before going he had hugged Mrs Bury and her husband and told them to have a good Christmas “in case he didn’t see them before”.

After his death a draft text message was found on his phone addressed to Wendy.

It read: “No matter what you think I do love you x.”

The message hadn’t been sent.

The court heard that Mr Nelson had sought help form his GP in 2014 for his problems with alcohol but had no symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Assistant Coroner Simon Jones said he was satisfied that Mr Nelson had gone to the woodland to end his life and gave his cause of death as 1A asphyxia caused by 1B hanging.

He concluded it was suicide and Mr Nelson had not been impaired by the alcohol in his system.

After the hearing, Mrs Nelson said: “He was so loved and is missed by a lot of people. We are all devastated. It was such a shock, none of us saw it coming.”