‘Cry for help’ of hanged dad, 28

Date published: 30 September 2015

A YOUNG father hanged himself in the bathroom while his girlfriend put their two-year-old daughter to bed, an inquest heard.

Steven Fitton (28), of Siddall Street, St Mary’s, was found on May 22 by partner Debbie Cross, who was expecting the couple’s second child in August. Debbie called an ambulance and rushed to a neighbour’s house for help and when crews arrived shortly after midnight they found Mr Fitton looking “lifeless” with a faint pulse. He was rushed to the Royal Oldham Hospital where he died two days later.

The inquest heard Mr Fitton had taken an overdose six years before, after a row with a former girlfriend who had threatened to leave with their child.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Fitton’s mother Susan Ashcroft said her son, who worked at the JD Sports warehouse in Shaw, didn’t seem down in the days leading up to his death. He had no history of drug use but had been drinking that night.

Neighbours heard the pair arguing and Miss Cross had threatened to take their daughter to her mother’s house. She put the child to bed and returned to the front room when she heard a loud bang in the bathroom and rushed in to make the tragic discovery.

Recording an open verdict, assistant coroner Matthew Cox said: “Mr Fitton had taken an overdose but it seems clear this was a cry for help.

“In the past, he’d called his mum to apologise and said he wouldn’t do it again. It was a response to an argument with his ex-girlfriend. Because of the circumstances of his death, it is more evidence of him trying to take his life on this occasion.

“His partner was in the house and for that reason I can’t rule out that this was another cry for help.”