A WALNEY dad took his own life because he was prevented from seeing his two children, his family has said.
Jamie Bull was found dead at his flat in Biggar Garth on Walney by his dad Jim and stepmum Nicola.
His girlfriend Stephanie Clayton told an inquest at Barrow Town Hall that the 36-year-old’s struggle with mental health issues ‘spiralled’ at Christmas when his ex-wife stopped him from seeing his kids.
“It was the number one reason he was feeling the way he was,” Miss Clayton said.
She also claimed Mr Bull’s ex-wife only used his mental health issues ‘against him’ after he left her and once he began seeing Miss Clayton .
“Child access only became an issue once his ex-wife found out about our relationship,” she said.
“It was only after he left her that she used his mental health issues against him. He only had very limited access. It hurt him a lot. He was devastated. He left her because he was unhappy.
“He stayed for the children but when he did leave it was used against him time and time again. His ex wasn’t willing to communicate or reach any kind of compromise.
“Access was stopped before Christmas; he was meant to have them on Christmas Day but she stopped that and after that his problems just spiralled.”
Mr Bull’s brother Chris said his ex-wife Joanne Thornton had ‘fought against him having access to his children’.
The inquest heard Mr Bull, a dad-of-three, had struggled with mental health issues but was ‘good at hiding it’, his brother Chris said.
“It’s miraculous that someone who is in that much personal and mental turmoil themselves can selflessly help others in the way he did,” Mr Bull added.
Jamie’s family was highly critical of an incident in October 2018 when he was detained by police under the Mental Health Act.
His stepmum Nicola Bull said: “We sat with him in the A&E waiting area with two police officers, from 8am until 6pm.”
The inquest heard there had been no mental health beds available and so Mr Bull had to wait in A&E until a doctor arrived.
On Tuesday March 5 Mr Bull, described by his brother as a ‘great guy who loved helping others’, had an argument with Miss Clayton.
His family became concerned for him and went round to his flat.
He was found hanged and despite his dad Jim’s attempts to resuscitate him he was pronounced dead by paramedics.
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, which was responsible for acute mental health services when Mr Bull was detained in October 2018, carried out an investigation after his death which highlighted a number of lessons to be learned.
A spokeswoman said: “We express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Bull at this difficult time.
“The trust is not able to comment on this case at this time.”