A former Tesco worker from Barrow with a long history of mental health issues died in unknown circumstances, an inquest heard.

Alastair John Graham was found dead by a passer-by on September 15 who entered his property after seeing bluebottle flies in the window of his house, the Coroner's Court in Cockermouth was told.

Police officers who attended the scene described seeing post which indicated he was alive in June – three months prior to being found dead.

The cause of death was given as unascertained.

The High Cliff resident had a long history of mental health issues and suicidal ideation which saw him admitted to the Dova Unit in Barrow back in 2019 following a short time in an in-patient unit in Carlisle.

Lynne Makepeace, who found Mr Graham, told the court: "I saw black dots in the window.

"There were bluebottles visible, and I thought something must have died.

"There was an awful smell coming from the window."

Mr Graham's former Tesco colleague gained access to the house to check if everything was okay, but sadly found his body heavily decomposed.

Toxicological analysis showed no sign of drugs in his system but did not rule it out as a possible cause of death as heavy decomposition can limit findings.

Another of Mr Graham's former Tesco colleagues, Mason Garnett, spoke of how he had opened up to him about his struggles with his mental health and about his breakdown, which led him to get in contact with Mind in Furness.

Melony Gilmore, from Mind in Furness, explained in a statement that Mr Graham used their service and was supported with his struggling motivation and day structuring.

Rebecca McFall, Mr Graham's mental health practitioner, said that he attended Duddon House mental health unit on a number of occasions both with and without appointments for help and had reported he had researched how to end his life.

She explained that he was admitted to the Dova Unit in Barrow in March 2019 and discharged in October 2019, and was informed of the care plan upon discharge.

This was corroborated by Claire Kay, who led the investigation report on his death.

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust – which runs the service at the Dova Unit – said it had put in place a plan to ensure patients received a copy of their care plan to receive advice given to them and that staff would be shown the best practice audit reviews and standards operating procedures for future service users.

"There is no evidence that supports he died of a deliberate action," area corner Ms Kirsty Gomersal said while concluding.

"The appropriate conclusion is an open conclusion."

  • If you, or someone you know, is having a mental health crisis then call:

North Cumbria NHS Universal Mental Health Crisis Line: 0800 652 2865

South Cumbria NHS Urgent Mental Health Support Line: 0800 953 0110

Samaritans 116 123

SHOUT: Text Shout to 85258

MindLine Cumbria: 0300 561 0000 text Mind to 81066.