A MIDDLEWICH father hanged himself near Chester Cathedral after a day out to the races with a group of friends, an inquest heard.

The body of James Greig, 49, was found in Abbey Square by a member of the public on May 11.

An inquest into his death was held today, Wednesday, at Warrington coroner’s court.

The court heard how Mr Greig, a self-employed construction designer, had been with his wife, Nicola Greig, and a group of friends at Chester Races, before attending The Architect pub.

Mrs Greig said: “James was at the bar with the lads who were waiting to give him his drink.

“They turned around and he was gone.”

Mrs Greig said she tried to call and text her husband as well as use the Find My iPhone app, but said his phone was switched off.

She said it was not unusual for him to wander off during nights out and make his own way back. The group returned to Middlewich in a minibus around 7pm without Mr Greig.

Around 6pm, Mr Greig was seen in Chester Cathedral by senior verger, Corentyn Smith. He said Mr Greig’s ‘whole demeanour was down’.

Mr Smith said: “At 6.20pm, the service ended and all in attendance left. At this time I saw the male still there.

“I approached him and asked him to leave. He remained sitting there for one or two minutes.”

Shortly after, he saw Mr Greig sitting near the main entrance with his jacket undone and his tie removed.

He was found hanging by a member of the public in Abbey Square around 8.40pm. Paramedics arrived but he was dead on arrival at hospital.

Det Sgt Robin Grantham attended the scene and said he was satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances.

A pathology report confirmed there were 136 milligram of alcohol in his blood.

Medical reports revealed that Mr Greig was receiving medical help for insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Mrs Greig told the court he had always suffered with mental health issues and talked openly about it.

The court also heard that he had expressed suicidal thoughts previously to his wife and to medical professionals.

However, he had always maintained that he would not go through with this because of the pain it would cause to his wife and four children.

Claire Welch, area coroner for Cheshire, recorded a verdict of death by suicide.

  • Anyone in need of help and support dealing with anxiety and depression can contact the Samaritans on 116123.