Widow Instructs Medical Negligence Lawyers To Investigate Husband’s Care As She Supports Suicide Prevention Campaign
The grieving widow of a Stockport man who took his life has spoken out on her ‘devastating’ loss in a bid to help others.
Craig Murray, who had a history of mental illness, was found hanged at Etherow Country Park where he had proposed to his wife Jade three-and-a-half years prior. He was 41 and had been working as a car salesman at a car dealership in Stockport.
Following his death in May 2020, an inquest held in December 2020 concluded the cause of death to be suicide. At the inquest it was acknowledged by the team manager of the mental health team that in the days leading up to his suicide he was not correctly categorised as high risk of attempting to take his own life and that the consultant psychiatrist wasn’t informed of the deterioration in his mental state.
Jade, 39, has now instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her husband’s care under the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. She is joining with her legal team in marking World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September by speaking out on her loss and to help raise awareness around mental illness.
Expert Opinion“Craig’s family remain devastated by what’s happened and his son who was 15 years old at the time is now without a father.
Anyone can be affected by mental health and it’s vital that people receive the care and support they need. World Suicide Prevention Day is an important reminder that those affected need not suffer alone and that it is vital that those effected by mental illness receive the support and treatment that they need.
Sadly, the inquest into Craig’s death highlighted issues in the care provided to him in the lead up to his death. We’re now investigating this and will continue to support Jade however we can.”
Margaret Ryan - Partner
Craig suffered from mental illness in 2013. Six years later, in 2019, his mental health declined again. He developed psychosis and paranoia, as well as delusions and low mood. He was placed under the care of the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Access Team and Community Health Team (CMHT), before being referred to the Home Treatment Team (HMT) in January 2020.
He remained under the care of the CMHT and HMT until his death four months later. During this time, he took a number of overdoses.
On 18 May, Craig told his mental health care co-ordinator he had ‘thought about’ taking his life that week. It was heard at the inquest in December 2020 that Craig’s case should have been elevated to a ‘red’ category at that time, which would have likely resulted in Craig being reassessed that day or the day after.
Instead, his case remained at ‘amber’ and an agreement was made for the team to speak to Craig twice a week over the phone, including a call on 21 May.
However, the scheduled call did not go ahead. An attempt to call Craig was made by the care co-ordinator the following day, 22 May, but Craig’s mum said he wasn’t in, the inquest heard.
He was found dead on 23 May, in the same park where he had proposed to Jade.
Jade, a bank business manager, said: “It’s more than two years since I lost Craig and it’s still incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact he’s no longer here.
“We had only been married 18 months when he died, Craig’s mental illness was putting a strain on our relationship, but I believe that with the correct treatment Craig would have recovered and we would have spent the rest of our lives together. It devastates me that this won’t happen.
“When his mental health began to deteriorate, he began thinking he was in danger and that people were following him. He moved in with his mum just before lockdown as he kept saying he thought I was also in danger and that our home security was being hacked. It was awful and I kept pleading with him not to do anything stupid.
“When he was found in the park, my emotions were all over the place. It was such a special location for us as that’s where we got engaged.
“To this day, I still have so many questions over Craig’s death and whether more could have been done to help him.
"While nothing will bring him back to me, I hope that by sharing my story it will highlight the devastating effects that the lack of appropriate support for loved ones with mental health problems can have. I hope it will encourage
people to seek the treatment and support they need before it’s too late.”
World Suicide Prevention Day is on 10 September.