A WINSFORD widower took his own life while in hospital after battling alcoholism and numerous mental health issues, a coroner has ruled.

Francis McNally, 66, of 15 Malvern Way, Winsford, died at the Countess of Chester Hospital on 23 December 2014.

At Warrington Coroner’s Court, an inquest into Mr McNally’s death heard how he had become ‘isolated’ and ‘depressed’ following an unsuccessful housing placement.

The inquest also heard how Mr McNally, who was also in the early stages of prostate cancer, was struggling to cope with the loss of his daughter, who died in 2013.

Mr McNally, who had numerous stints in hospital due to his mental health, was admitted into Bowmere Hospital, Chester, on December 10, 2014, following a short stay the previous month.

“He said he had been having suicidal thoughts,” Dr Phillipa Wilson, who was placed at Bowmere Hospital at the time as part of her training, said.

“He had been drinking and he said he was hearing voices, saying they were going to kill him.”

Dr Wilson said Mr McNally, who admitted to drinking six pints and a bottle of whisky a day, had requested to go back into hospital, as he felt ‘safe’.

Mr McNally, who had previously attempted to take his own life, was placed on a strict observation routine on Bowmere Hospital’s Juniper ward, though this was later relaxed.

He was also withdrawn completely from alcohol.

The inquest heard how the retired council worker kept himself to himself on the ward, often staying in his room until late afternoon before emerging to watch television.

Anthony McNally, from Winsford, told the inquest how his brother was in ‘great spirits’ during a visit just three days before he took his own life.

He said: “He was looking forward to January, to see where he would be sent from the ward.

“He even took the cord off the dressing gown I bought him for Christmas, joking ‘I can’t have that in case I try to kill myself’.

In the early hours of December 23, a pressure sensor door alarm was triggered in Mr Mcnally’s room.

When staff went to investigate Mr McNally was in the bathroom. Staff believed it was a false alarm.

At around 3.45pm of December 23, Rachel Carlin, clinical support worker, noticed something unusual in Mr McNally’s room.

“I noticed a knot above Francis’s door,” Ms Carlin said. “I looked through the window and I couldn’t see any expression on his face. I opened the door and I heard him fall down.”

Miraculously, medical staff was able to resuscitate Mr McNally.

He was taken to the accident and emergency unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital and then transferred to their intensive care unit, though he passed away later that evening.

The official time of death was 6.18pm. A toxicology report confirmed there was no alcohol in Mr McNally’s system.

Concluding, Senior Coroner for Cheshire, Nicholas Leslie Rheinberg, said: “I have no doubt in my mind that Mr McNally took his own life. The final conclusion is that he died from suicide.”