Carl Sargeant killed himself after sacking, coroner rules" width="976" height="549">
Carl Sargeant was found hanged at his home in Flintshire in November 2017
A Labour member of the Welsh Assembly killed himself days after being sacked as a Welsh Government minister over claims of inappropriate behaviour towards women, a coroner has ruled. Carl Sargeant, 49, was found hanged at home in Connah's Quay, Flintshire, by his wife Bernadette on 7 November 2017.He had been dismissed as minister for communities and children.Coroner John Gittins recorded a conclusion of suicide, but said more support should have been in place.He told the inquest in Ruthin, Denbighshire, that when he opened proceedings he had promised a "full and fair examination" and "would not allow this inquest to be a trial by press, politics or personality".
The "twists and turns" of the inquest's journey at times followed the "murkiest" of paths into the world of politics, Mr Gittins added.He said that due to a "life event", coupled with the "pressure" of his role as a Welsh Government minister, Mr Sargeant had been diagnosed with depression in 2012.The coroner said former first minister Carwyn Jones had been aware of the life event in 2014, but did not recognise there were any other issues thereafter, despite working closely with Mr Sargeant.Following allegations in 2017 Mr Gittins said Mr Jones deemed it necessary to refer the allegations to the Labour Party and to remove the Alyn and Deeside AM from the cabinet.The coroner said there were no official arrangements in place to support Mr Sargeant following the re-shuffle, "despite the probability that the first minister knew of Mr Sargeant's vulnerability in relation to his mental health".Mr Gittins said his sacking, and the reason for it had been likely to put Mr Sargeant "firmly in the media spotlight".It was "a position which undoubtedly added to Mr Sargeant's pressures", he added.
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Mr Gittins said the support of Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones was not in the nature of pastoral care, despite contradictory information given by the first minister during the inquest.The coroner said Mr Jones - who had been accused by the Sargeant family's barrister of lying under oath on this point - had "properly and appropriately" corrected information he had previously given.After leaving a note, Mr Gittins said Mr Sargeant "ended his life by hanging himself".The coroner said this was done deliberately, and he was sure Mr Sargeant intended to do it.Mr Gittins added that he would submit a prevention of future deaths report to the Welsh Government, saying: "Am I still concernedAndy Sargeant, Mr Sargeant's brother, thanked the coroner and court staff, saying the family were proud of Mr Sargeant's achievements. "Words can not express how much he is missed," he said, adding that a "giant space has been left which can not be filled".
Carwyn Jones
Welsh Labour
Labour Party
Carl Sargeant
Welsh government
Connahs Quay
Welsh Assembly
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