The Chronicle, Thursday, 24th November, 2011. www.chronicleseries.co.uk 7
Cheshire Rose Interiors Ltd
Former crime agency analyst took his own life, inquest was told An ex-intelligence analyst committed suicide after his life nravelled following a driving ban in 2009.
Alasdair Holmes, (45), of 67, Manchester Road, Congleton used to work for the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency which deals with class A drugs, human trafficking and major gun crime.
His father found his body at the foot of the aquaduct at Bosley, after reading a note in his son’s diary on the day he died.
James Holmes told an inquest at Middlewich Civic Centre last Wednesday: “If you had told me then that Alasdair was going to commit suicide, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Alasdair’s parents told the hearing how he had started drinking when he had relationship problems. He was convicted for drink driving and subsequently lost his job, then his home.
Mr Holmes and his wife Jane told the inquest that Alasdair had never married ut had at one time lived with his ex-partner who he discovered was having a baby with another man in 2009.
Mrs Holmes said: “He had a relationship that unfortunately went haywire. Alasdair was never a very cheerful person, he was introverted. Around the time when he died he seemed to be himself. He never seemed to be anything ut how he was.
“After a break-up with his artner, Julie, around 2006 and some time apart they got back together as friends and they were still living together by the time of his ban in 2009.”
His mother added: “It is difficult to say what happened after that, she must have had a relationship with someone ecause she became pregnant, around Christmas time 2009.
Distressed by this, Mr Holmes was on the way to see his parents one night around Christmas 2009 when he was pulled over by the olice for his driving. His mother told the inquest: “We were expecting him to visit one night. He had been drinking a lot and he set off in his car, and near Cambridge he was stopped by the police.
“He was normally so careful never to drink and drive, I think something must have snapped in his head.”
He was convicted of drink driving and faced a two-year ban that would have ended last summer.
Mr and Mrs Holmes knew their son drank but gasped when a statement from his GP was read at the inquest which said he had been consuming around two bottles of wine a day in 2009.
The conviction cost him what Alasdair’s parents said was the job he loved. SOCA kept him on for 18 months but he was eventually fired after a tribunal.
Subsequently, he lost his home in Maidstone, Kent, as he could no longer afford to live there and moved to his parent’s address in Manchester Road, Congleton.
His parents said it was humiliating for him to have to do reading and writing tests at the local job centre. He found the job seeking process very difficult and found it hard to get motivated, they said.
He did a stint working for a benefits agency based in Congleton, but said he felt that it “was like going back to infant school”.
Alasdair’s parents urged him to seek help for his clinically diagnosed depression. Although he had taken medication for some time he wasn’t taking it when he died.
Deputy Coroner for Cheshire Dr Janet Napier was told that on the morning of Tuesday, 7th June this year, Mr and Mrs Holmes went shopping in Audley and when they returned Alasdair was not at home.
They expected him to return around lunchtime as he had said he intended to pick up his benefit payment.
Mr and Mrs Holmes became increasingly concerned throughout the day and that evening Mrs Holmes went upstairs to find Alasdair’s bed made with his diary on top of it.
She said she battled with her conscience but concerned for her son’s safety, she followed her instincts and inside the diary she found a note of what Dr Napier described was his morbid intent.
Mrs Holmes showed it to her husband who left the house immediately to look for Alasdair, as the note was specific about his intentions. Mrs Holmes then called the police.
Mr Holmes said he had some hope that he would find Alasdair unharmed, as he had previously written a similar note in 2009.
Mr Holmes said he “shot down” to Bosley. He had to
Man in prison for harassment
Kevin John Johnson, (46), of 10, Moorland Road, Mow Cop, has been sent to prison for 22 weeks for the repeated harassment of a woman.
Johnson faced a charge that etween 11th April and 2nd May he pursued a course of conduct that amounted to the harassment of the woman, having contacted her by text message and other electronic means on numerous occasions “having been aware that this contact was nwanted”.
Johnson changed his plea to guilty after entering a previous lea of not guilty. Magistrates sent him to prison for 22 weeks because the offence was so serious, was repeated, and continued even after police served a harassment notice.
Magistrates took into account his record of previous similar behaviour over several years and failure to respond.
A restraining order was also made that the defendant must not have direct or indirect contact with the woman. This includes written, verbal, telephonic and electronic contact.
The defendant’s guilty plea was taken into account when imposing sentence at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court on 9th November.
leave his car and walk for around 20 minutes, as the area is quite inaccessible, Mr Holmes told the coroner.
He found his son’s body at the foot of the Macclesfield Canal aquaduct, adjacent to the River Dane.
Mr Holmes said: “It was obvious he hadn’t moved, I examined him closely to see if he had. He was clearly dead.”
He called his wife who was with police officers. An officer stayed with her and the other went to the scene.
Police said they had no reason to suspect any third party involvement.
A dog walker later handed in a rucksack to the police after noticing that it had been left on the canal towpath all day, above the spot where Alasdair was found.
The inquest was told that he had sustained multiple injuries and that death appeared to have been instantaneous.
No masonry on the aqueduct had been disturbed.
Before closing the inquest Dr Napier said: “The cause of death being multiple injuries, he took his own life when the balance of his mind was disturbed.”
Dr Napier told Mr and Mrs Holmes: “I am very sorry that you should lose him like this, it is obvious that this was a difficult time for your son.”
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