Labour AM Carl Sargeant was found hanged at home by his wife after leaving note telling her to call the police
Former Welsh Government Communities Minister Carl Sargeant was found hanged, an inquest heard today.
The Alyn and Deeside AM was found by his wife Bernadette at their home in Connah's Quay last Tuesday, a hearing in Ruthin heard today.
He had left his wife a note telling her not to enter the utility room but to call the police.
She found him inside on the floor.
Resuscitation was attempted but was unsuccesful.
The dad of two, was found dead four days after he lost his job in the Welsh Government cabinet and was suspended by the Labour Party while complaints of inappropriate behaviour towards women were investigated.
He denied the allegations which related to "inappropriate attention, touching or groping".
Today John Gittins, Senior Coroner for North Wales (East and Central) said he will be seeking statements from witnesses at the Wales Assembly, including First Minister Carwyn Jones, and they may be required to attend the court at a future hearing.
At a brief hearing to open and adjourn the inquest Mr Gittins also said that, as coroner, it was his duty to consider any steps that may be taken to prevent future deaths.
He continued: "With this aspect of my role in mind, I shall be examining carefully the steps taken by the Assembly to have regard to Mr Sargeant's mental welfare prior to his death."
Earlier, the court heard that last Tuesday morning Mrs Sargeant had g one downstairs and found a note on the door of her utility room in her husband's handwriting advising her not to enter but to call the police.
She then went in and found her husband on the floor of the "lean to" adjoining the utility room, "after an apparent act of self-harm".
Efforts to resuscitate him continued by Mrs Sargeant and family members along with paramedics until life was pronounced extinct.
Dr Andrew Dalton carried out a post-mortem examination and took samples for toxicology tests, but provided the coroner with a provisional cause of death as hanging.
Mr Gittins said his inquest will not consider the truth of al legations made against Mr Sargeant, nor look at "Cardiff and the Welsh Assembly or the Labour Party" and making adjudications on "who is right or wrong and who can be trusted".
Mr Jones has said that a senior QC will lead an independent inquiry into the decisions taken before Mr Sargeant's death.
The leading barrister will scrutinise the decisions made by Mr Jones in the days before Mr Sargeant is believed to have taken his own life.
Mr Sargeantâs family want the inquiry to âdetermine the reasons for the serious failings in following the correct procedures, practices and protocols and the reasons for the complete abdication of responsibility and duty of care that was owed to Carl.â
In their solicitor's statement, they said it should be established "immediately".
A day before Mr Sargeant's death, his lawyer accused t he First Minister's office of manipulating the evidence against him and prejudicing the inquiry being done by Labour in London.
The letter was released by the family and urged the party to release details of the allegations against him.
Mr Gittins, before adjourning the inquest to a date yet to be fixed, said he will be required to consider a conclusion of suicide and that would mean he had to be certain that Mr Sargeant's intention was to end his life and he must consider his mental state at the time.
Due to the independent inquiry already announced, the coroner said he was not able to set a date for the inquest to resume, and its own findings may have a bearing on the inquest.
He concluded: "May I take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Sargeant and to assure them all that there will be a full and fair examination of the matters which are relevant to my investigation and that I shall not allow the inquest to be a trial by press, politics or personality."
Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies and figures from within Mr Jones' own party had called for the First Minister to announce an investigation.
Former minister Leighton Andrews has claimed Mr Jones knew that Mr Sargeant was "fragile" before he sacked him.
He has also said the atmosphere in the Government had been "toxic" with "minor bullying, mind-games, power-games, favouritism, inconsistency of treatment to different ministers, deliberate personal undermining" and "Carl was unquestionably the target of some of this behaviour".
Following his death senior MP Mark Tami accused the party of letting down Mr Sargeant in the run-up to his suspected suicide.
In a thinly-veiled rebuke to Welsh Labour leader, he said: âI really think we have let Carl and his family down here.â
Mr Jones is resisting to calls to quit amid claims he suspended the Communities Secretary from his Cabinet without telling him about allegations that had been levelled against him.
Mr Tami represents Alyn and Deeside in the Commons â" the constituency Mr Sargeant held in the Welsh Assembly and the pair shared an office.
"That's why I think we need to have an inquiry into what exactly had happened, and the family are happy with those terms of reference," he told BBC Wales.
Mr Tami said he was "slightly confused" about Mr Jones' indications over an inquiry - whether there would be one or only if an inquest &q uot;didn't come to something".
"We need to look at those procedures because they're not safeguarding. We've obviously got to look to protect those who are victims or those who are making allegations," he added.
"But equally we have a duty of care to those who the allegations are being made against."
Last week Wales first minister Carwyn Jones gave an emotional statement in which he insisted he had done everything 'by the book'.
He paid tribute to his friend and insisted that he would help the family get answers.
"The family deserve to have their questions answered and if that isnât possible through the Inquest then I will endeavour to make that happen through other means," he said.
But the calls for him to go a growing with UKIP set to table a vote of no confidence in the Welsh Assembly.
David Banks, a former editor of the Daily Mirror and an expert in media law, told BBC Radio Wales it was "nonsense" to say an inquest prevented anyone giving any comments or explanation.
"Bureaucracy uses the fact of an inquest to try to shut down any comments or explanation as to what happened to someone before their death because of a notional idea that inquests can be prejudiced," he told the Good Morning Wales programme.
"We can have some answers now, and certainly the family of Mr Sargeant and the wider community he represented deserve those answers."Source: Google News