‘Wonderful’ man suffered paranoia before his death

Bolton Coroner's Court
Bolton Coroner's Court
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A man under investigation for assaulting his childhood sweetheart, deliberately took a lethal overdose, an inquest has heard.

Christopher Brookfield was discovered by his wife Julie Brookfield at his home in Ward Street, Hindley, after swallowing a fatal combination of paracetamol, codeine and morphine.

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An inquiry into Mr Brookfield’s death found that the 51-year-old had been suffering from episodes of “paranoia” before his death on September 20, causing serious issues within his relationship.

Assistant coroner Rachel Galloway read evidence explaining that police had been called out to domestic incidents twice in the week leading up to his suicide.

Ms Galloway said: “On September 13 she (Mrs Brookfield) contacted the police. At that stage he was being very vocal towards her.

“On September 14, she contacted police again in respect to another incidents involving Christopher.”

The assistant coroner learned how the couple had met at school, before getting married “later in life”.

“In the last few months he wasn’t mentally stable and accused her of doing horrible things because he had become paranoid,” she added.

Mrs Brookfield, who had temporarily moved out of the family home, saw her husband two days later when he walked past the window of her sister’s house.

Later that evening he sent a text to her sister’s phone saying “that is the last you will hear from me”.

On September 20, Mrs Brookfield decided to visit her husband at home because she felt something “wasn’t right”. She found that the curtains were closed.

Despite having been advised by the police not to go to her home, she tried the door but the key was in the lock on the other side.

After gaining access, Mrs Brookfield found a message written in her husband’s handwriting.

His body was found shortly after in the house.

Mrs Brookfield told the coroner that her husband was “wonderful” when he was well and that she was devastated by his death.

An investigation conducted by Det Insp Nathan Percival, of Greater Manchester Police, discovered that Mr Brookfield was believed to be addicted to amphetamine - however there was no evidence in the post-mortem exam or toxicology report.

In a statement to the coroner, Det Insp Percival said that he had requested “checks” be carried out on the couple, which flagged up the “medium risk” domestic incidents.

One of them had resulted in a section 39 assault with his wife as the victim but she did not wish to take that further and proceedings were still under way.

After reviewing the evidence, Ms Galloway said that due to the fatal amount of drugs taken, as well as the message left for his wife and the text message sent to his sister-in-law, she could conclude that Mr Brookfield did intend to take his own life.

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