Depressed dad hanged himself after ex-wife stopped him from seeing their three children during Christmas
Jamie Bull's girlfriend Stephanie Clayton testified that his ex-wife Joanne Thornton used his mental health issues 'against him' to prevent him from seeing the children.
A father hanged himself after his ex-wife banned him from seeing their children at Christmas, an inquest into his death heard.
The family of Jamie Bull, 36, became concerned for his welfare after they learned that he had argued with his girlfriend Stephanie Clayton on March 5, according to the Daily Mail. When his father Jim and stepmother Nicola went to check on him at his apartment in Cumbria, Bigger Garth, their worst fears were confirmed.
They found him unconscious, and despite Jim's best efforts to resuscitate him, he could not be saved and was declared dead by paramedics.
This past week, an inquest into his death at Barrow-in-Furness heard that the suicide was a result of Bull's struggle with mental health issues that "spiraled" out of control after Christmas, which was when his ex-wife Joanne Thornton stopped him from seeing their children.
Clayton testified that Thornton used his mental health issues "against him" to prevent him from seeing them and that it was the "number one reason" her partner had been feeling so low.
"Child access only became an issue once his ex-wife found out about our relationship," she revealed. "He only had very limited access. It hurt him a lot. He was devastated. He left her because he was unhappy. He stayed for the children but when he did leave it was used against him time and time again. His ex wasn't willing to communicate or reach any kind of compromise."
She said Bull was supposed to have the children on Christmas day but that Thornton prevented that from happening.
Bull's brother, Chris, similarly testified that Thornton had "fought against him having access to his children." He said his brother was "good at hiding" his mental health issues, and told the hearing, "It's miraculous that someone who is in that much personal and mental turmoil themselves can selflessly help others in the way he did."
The family was also highly critical of an October 2018 incident where Bull was detained by police under the Mental Health Act. Nicola said they sat with him in the A&E waiting area with police from 8 am until 6 pm because there were no mental health beds available.