A heartbroken mother wept as she described her “adventurous, loving and exciting” son who hanged himself after a rapid descent into mental health problems – which may have been caused by taking “synthetic cannabis” while travelling in New Zealand.
Daniel Hall (32) told his mum Katherine he had taken the drug K2, created by spraying natural herbs with synthetic chemicals, because it would not show up on a drug test when he applied to become a scaffolder in the country.
The popular young man, who had previously worked for eight years at specialist mental health unit Calderstones in Whalley, started suffering from paranoid delusions when he returned to Burnley. Speaking at an inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court, his mother said: “Daniel had been travelling for two years in Australia and New Zealand.
“He was a very keen mountaineer and I wanted him to see the world.
“My other son now lives in New Zealand. I encouraged my children to travel.
“Daniel was an adventurous boy. If he climbed a mountain it would have to be the biggest one.”
Mrs Hall went on to describe how Daniel’s problems started when he returned to Burnley and was diagnosed with depression.
She added: “I know he smoked cannabis, but he deteriorated very quickly in his mental health. He had bouts of aggression and became very paranoid. It was awful to listen to.
“Daniel was a handsome boy but he had become like a caged animal. We had 32 years of good times with Daniel. He was special and he was the best.”
Daniel was eventually sectioned in Ward 18 at Burnley General Hospital, but released just seven days into a possible 28-day section, against the family’s wishes.
Ward manager Mr Vincent Heyworth told the inquest he did not know whether Daniel had received any medication while in the hospital.
He added: “Daniel appeared to have a good insight into his problems. He believed dips in his mood were caused by taking cannabis and amphetamine.
“He was focused on his future and spoke about wanting to travel again. He was anxious to leave hospital and we felt there were no further grounds for detention.”
But Daniel’s family and friends, around a dozen of whom attended the inquest, said he should have been detained for longer so health professionals could build a better picture of his condition.
Mrs Hall was also unhappy at the care she and Daniel received after his release, adding: “I resent the fact health professionals seemed to assume I would be his carer. I had no experience of mental illness.”
Daniel was found hanged at his home in Laithe Street, Burnley, on January 7th, which his mother described as the moment “the nightmare ended and the nightmare started.”
Recording a narrative conclusion that Daniel took his own life, East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said: “This was a young man who became ill very quickly.
“I would guess because of his own knowledge of mental health problems he would have been exceptionally worried about his own condition.
“We will never know the root cause of his problems.”