Well-liked Barrow football steward took his own life, inquest concludes

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11 August 2017 8:37PM

A WELL-LIKED Barrow football steward who had a history of depression took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Owen Anthony Patrick McAloone, 48, of Barrow, died on February 23. An inquest at Barrow Town Hall heard that Mr McAloone was found deceased at his Longway home by two colleagues from B&Q, who went to check on him when he had not attended work.

Assistant Cumbria coroner, Robert Chapman said Mr McAloone's cause of death was hanging and concluded that he took his own life.

Mr McAloone was a well-liked and well-known steward at Barrow AFC for 10 years. He worked for B&Q for 28 years. His job also took him around the country to work at the company's various sites on projects.

He was a genuinely nice person

Medical evidence from GP Dr Nutt heard that Mr McAloone had anxiety and depression for several years, this followed the death of his mother and father within six months of one another. He had been suffering with shoulder pain and was on sick leave from December 2, 2016 to February 16 with this. He returned to work on February 17.

Dr Nutt recorded that her patient felt some social isolation from not being at work, and he felt he could get better if he returned to work. Mr McAloone was asked by the GP if he had any suicidal thoughts. He said he had, but would not act on them. He was referred to First Step. The NHS service had contacted Mr McAloone asking him to make an appointment.

The inquest also heard that Mr McAloone had concerns about debts.

Mr McAloone's B&Q colleagues Christopher Elleray and William Golding went to Mr McAloone's home, when he had not attended work on February 23 or the previous day, and found him deceased. They described Mr McAloone as a nice person.

Police found Mr McAloone's financial documents laid out in his home.

Mr Chapman referred to correspondence between B&Q area management and B&Q in Barrow. It asked for information about Mr McAloone's sick leave, questioned if there was any allegation of bullying towards Mr McAloone, and asked about a disciplinary matter.

The Barrow store confirmed Mr McAloone's sick leave, said there was no allegation of bullying, and that there was a meeting on January 12 around a suggestion Mr McAloone was working a second job while on sick leave, referring to football stewarding. The correspondence confirmed no action was taken.

A number of Mr McAloone's heartbroken family attending the inquest. The inquest heard how he regularly saw his family and how they tried to support him with issues such as his depression, grief and debt.

It was said that he had attended the football while on sick leave to see his friends and watch the football, but not for work.

His niece Carly McAloone said: "He was a really nice man, he'd say hi to everyone. He was a genuinely nice person."

The family said they were aware of some verbal issues at work and they told Mr McAloone to complain.

Mr McAloone's brother, Stuart McAloone, and sister, Helen McAloone, told the inquest that it seemed like he was coping. They said he could pick up, but then be down. They said a combination of issues played on his mind, and that the depression went back to the loss of their parents.

Mr Stuart McAloone said: "I never thought he would take his own life, his death came as a total shock to me."

Mr Chapman said: "He was clearly a nice lad. He had lived with his parents and when they died within six months of each other it was not at all surprising that he was very upset.

"I'm sure you all did your very best to support him. He was clearly depressed."

Mr Chapman said: "To be fair to B&Q, he was clearly well-liked. His boss and colleagues were concerned about him and unusually they went round. You don't see that all the time."

Mr Chapman said Mr McAloone laid out his documents for people to find and that he had intended to take his life.

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