Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Accident Verdict at Inquest into Death of Gazza's Nephew

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Accident Verdict at Inquest into Death of Gazza's Nephew

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter @TheSharminator

FORMER Newcastle United footballer Paul Gascoigne's nephew died accidentally, a coroner has ruled.

Jay Kerrigan, 22, of Dunston, Gateshead, had been fighting severe mental health problems from an early age.

He was battling obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and drug abuse for many months before he was found dead in April 2016.

An inquest, held in Hebburn, heard that he died after a drug overdose, with substances including morphine and cannabis found in his system.

His mum Anna Kerrigan told the hearing Jay "begged for help" from doctors and the mental health crisis team and said he "seemed to fall between the cracks of mental health and drug services", with neither able to offer the help he needed.

The family's lawyer asked coroner Terence Carney to consider whether there had been systemic shortcomings in Jay's care and a "lack of a cohesive approach in relation to patients who had complex needs".

However Mr Carney concluded that the approach taken by professionals was appropriate and there had not been a systemic failure.

He said he acknowledged that things could have been done "more cohesively" but added: "I do not accept that they [professionals] have contributed in any measure to his death."

Ruling out suicide, he said: "I'm satisfied that his death resulted from drugs misuse, and, yes, the drugs were self administered. I am not satisfied that he deliberately intended to harm himself. On balance, this was an accidental death."

The inquest heard that Jay had seen staff from the Evolve drug and alcohol service as well as professionals from mental health teams. Both agencies were trying to address two specific areas of concern.

A recovery plan had been formed by Evolve to support Jay with his drug and alcohol problems. …

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