THE family of a man who took his own life said he was let down by the mental health system.

Sean William Hough, 54, died after he jumped from the roof of a car park at India Mill in Darwen on June 10.

An inquest in Blackburn heard how Mr Hough, who had a long history of mental illness and had schizophrenia, had refused to take his medication resulting in him experiencing severe paranoia.

On the day before his death, Mr Hough had gone missing from his home in Cross Barn Grove, Darwen, sparking concerns with his family over his safety.

He was later found by one of his sisters, close to Sunnyhurst Reservoir, before being taken home where the mental health crisis team was called and informed of his suicidal nature.

Speaking at the inquest, Mr Hough’s sister, Margaret Brannigan, said the crisis team recommended he be taken to the emergency department at the hospital.

Mrs Brannigan said: “We managed to get him to the hospital that evening but it was a downward spiral from there as there was no-one there to see just how poorly he was.

“The nurses asked him how he was and he said he was ‘fine’. He wasn’t admitted to the hospital and was allowed to go home at 3am on Sunday and was told the home treatment team would see him first thing.

“But he left the house on Sunday morning before they could see him. The decision to release him from hospital was a mistake.”

Giving evidence in court, mental health practitioner Jane Harrison said she spoke to Mr Hough while he was at the hospital and asked him if he wanted to be admitted, but he refused.

Mrs Harrison said she believed he had the mental capacity to decline the admission, and the only alternative they could offer was to send the home treatment team round the following morning to assess his mental state, which Mr Hough agreed to. Despite this, Mr Hough’s family said they believed their brother was neglected by the mental health system, and felt he was left to ‘slip through the net’. Mrs Brannigan added: “I begged them to take him in that night and they turned him away.”

Coroner James Newman said: “Had Sean been admitted to hospital the night before his death the events of the following day may not have occurred.

“However, Sean died as a result of the multiple injuries sustained when he jumped from the car park and despite the concerns raised by his family I cannot say that this was a gross failure by the mental health teams.

“I therefore return a conclusion of suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed due to his schizophrenia.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Brannigan said: “There needs to be a change in the way patients are dealt with and family concerns need to be listened to so no-one else is allowed to slip through the net.”