A WINSFORD man found by children hanged in his garage committed suicide after battling depression, an inquest heard.

The youngsters had been playing in the back alley of Pulford Road when they discovered Paul Dooley, hanging in his council-rented garage on November 17.

The 46-year-old, who also lived in Pulford Road, had been suffering from alcohol problems and severe depression, and made previous attempts to take his own life, the inquest a Warrington Coroner’s Court heard last Wednesday.

Wife Pauline Dooley, hit out at psychiatric staff at Leighton Hospital for classifying her husband ‘low risk’ less than a month before he committed suicide.

She said: “Can’t you see that patients can lie to you, what do you have to do to be high risk, is trying to kill yourself not enough,” before leaving the room in tears.

The 41-year-old support worker had been shopping in Liverpool, but had tried to get Paul to come with her.

“Mornings have never been his best time, her was always a bit grumpy and you couldn’t talk to him, but that day he wouldn’t speak at all.

“He wouldn’t even look at me, he just stood there staring out the window. It was as if I wasn’t even in the room.

“There was a big change in him in the last 12 months. He hated his job, he hated everything, he didn’t go out.

“He was quite a dark person and only used to tell me about things when he was in the mood so I didn’t realise how low he was.”

The former chemical process operator was seen by psychiatric nurse Stephen Frost from Leighton Hospital’s mental health unit on October 27, following a previous attempt to hang himself and subsequent admission to hospital.

He said Paul had just enjoyed a weekend away with Pauline, had enrolled on a bricklaying course and was animated and positive about the future.

All this, coupled with previous assessments led to the ‘low risk’ categorisation.

Coroner Nichols Rheinberg said there was no evidence of foul play.

He said: “It was something in him that no-one got to the bottom of. In his depressed state he took to alcohol, almost of a way of self-medication, but all it did was make make a bad situation much worse.

“He could have periods of improvement, but only to relapse, and that could have given those who treated him a false sense of security.”

Verdict: Took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.