Man, 55, hanged himself after row with partner

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  • Man was found hanged in North Road YMCA flats
  • Inquest finds Patrick McNeilly had a history of alcohol dependency
  • 55-year-old rowed with partner shortly before his death

A St Helens man who hanged himself following a row with his partner had intended to take his own life, a coroner ruled.

Patrick McNeilly was found hanged in his flat at the YMCA flats in North Road shortly after 11am on August 25 last year.

An inquest at St Helens Town Hall heard how the 55-year-old, who had a history of alcohol dependency, was in a relationship with fellow YMCA resident Hillary McElwee at the time of his death.

But their relationship was particularly volatile and the evening of August 23 had ended in an altercation between the two before they both returned to their respective flats.

Their paths did cross the following day, but they remained distant and she refused to respond to his text messages.

On the evening of August 24 Mr McNeilly began playing loud music in his flat.

The inquest heard that the music was still playing when Ms McElwee went to bed at about 10pm.

By 4am the music had stopped and Ms McElwee became concerned about Mr McNeilly when she attempted to contact him at 8am, without success.

When she then received no calls or messages from him she asked a member of staff for assistance and a housing officer gained entry to Mr McNeilly’s flat.

Inside, they found him hanged.

Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

A post mortem showed that Mr McNeilly was about one and a half times the legal drink drive limit at the time of his death, but this would not have been enough to significantly impair his decision-making.

A suicide note was found outlining his intentions and the reasons for them.

Coroner Christopher Sumner accepted that the relationship between Mr McNeilly and Ms McElwee was “not a happy one” and said there was no doubt in his mind that Mr McNeilly had intended to kill himself.

He recorded a suicide verdict.