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Innocent text led to Rossendale cage fighter's poison death
A ‘JEALOUS’ row sparked by an ‘innocent’ text message between a cage fighter and his girlfriend led him to drink poison, an inquest heard.
Christopher Forkin, 23, swallowed a fatal dose of strychnine hydrochloride after an argument with Paige Nuttall over the message from a friend.
She left the flat in Waterfoot for him to ‘cool down’ but when she came back, she found him dying on the floor.
The couple had been in a relationship for one month after meeting on a night out in Rossendale, Burnley Coroners’ Court heard.
They had both been drinking at Mr Forkin’s flat in Burnley Road East.
In a statement read out in court, Miss Nuttall said that the father-of-two had been 'mad' after reading the text messages on her phone.
She said: “I had left my phone lying around and he had seen some innocent messages from a friend. He tipped the couch over and was pulling the doors off the hinges. He was breaking things and crying but I managed to calm him down. He said ‘you are just like the rest of them.’”
Miss Nuttall confirmed that Mr Forkin, who worked at Woodhead’s slaughterhouse in Colne, had been drinking lager before their argument and left the flat.
She said: “I told Chris that I was going out for some fags and left him at the house.”
While she was out, Mr Forkin drank a ‘substantial amount’ of a poison which is used by farmers to kill rodents and other pests. He had 7.58mg per litre in his system and 0.5mg is fatal, the court heard.
Describing the moment she found Mr Forkin face-down on his stomach when she returned, she said: “When I left the house I realised that I had no money, I went back to the flat to find Chris on the floor and I said ‘what have you taken?'. He answered with something beginning with c.
“His fist was clenched and he was shaking and fitting. I put my finger in his mouth so that he wouldn’t swallow his tongue. I was hysterical and remember him saying ‘remember I love you’”.
She called paramedics who took Mr Forkin to Royal Blackburn Hospital were he later died.
The court was told that Mr Forkin could have taken the substance from a farm he worked at for several years.
Two bottles were found in Mr Forkin’s flat by police following the incident in March.
A licence is needed to sell the liquid and a permit is needed to dispense it under the Poisons Act 1972.
Frank Ainsworth, who had employed Mr Forkin at his farm in Water, said the former Fearns Community Sports College student would have known that the substance could be fatal but he said he was unaware that any bottles were missing.
Mr Ashworth said: “Christopher was a polite, trustworthy and reliable worker. He liked a drink and was quiet when he was sober - but not when he was drunk.
“He knew that the poison was fatal and we had used it on the lambs to poison foxes.”
Speaking from the public gallery, Mr Forkin’s mother said: “Christopher was a different lad when he had a drink and if he hadn’t of had this argument with his girlfriend over a jealous text message he may not have taken his own life.”
Recording an open verdict East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor said: “The evidence doesn’t point in one particular direction to say he was meant to kill himself as drink was involved. My sincere condolences go out to his family.”
Mr Forkin leaves two children, two brothers and two sisters.
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