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'More could have been done' to support Carl Sargeant, inquest hears

Carl Sargeant was found dead at his home in November 2017

More could have been done to support Carl Sargeant after he was fired from his job as Children's and Communities Secretary, an inquest has heard.

The father-of-two was found dead at his home in Connah's Quay four days after the reshuffle. He was facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour, which he denied.

Today Lesley Griffiths AM, the Rural Affairs Secretary, told the inquest into his death that she believed more could have been done to support him after his sacking.

During cross examination by Leslie Thomas QC, who represents Mr Sargeant's widow and children, Ms Griffiths was asked: "Do you think more could have been done in terms of pastoral care to support Carl?

She responded: "Yes I do."

Ms Griffiths also spoke about the day the Welsh Government was reshuffled on 3rd November last year.

She described how she and Carl Sargeant travelled down to Cardiff from north Wales together on a train and both thought they would be leaving the cabinet.

In her evidence to Ruthin Coroners Court, Ms Griffiths said she spoke to Carl Sargeant after he was sacked.

She said: "I could tell by his voice he was in an awful way".

Earlier this morning, Coroner John Gittings told the court that it would not be possible to conclude the inquest today, as previously planned.

He said: "I do not now believe it is possible to conclude this inquest today, I say that with regret and an apology to the family".

It follows news that QC for the First Minister, Cathryn McGahey had been 'given instruction' to apply to a higher court to review the decision made by the coroner not to call the Leader and Deputy Leader of Flintshire Councils Aaron Shotton & Bernie Attridge to give evidence.

Cathryn McGahey has previously told the inquest that Mr Attridge may have lied in his written submissions to the court.

The Coroner also stated that he may have to recall the First Minister Carwyn Jones to give evidence and to hear from the Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd Ann Jones.

The inquest was later adjourned to a date yet to be fixed.

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