Manchester

Dale Cregan case police officer 'wrote own death report'

Andrew Summerscales Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mr Summerscales' partner said the deaths of his colleagues left him "in a very dark place"

A colleague of murdered police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes filled out his own death report before being found dead in a park, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Summerscales was believed to be one of the first on the scene after Dale Cregan had killed the PCs in 2012.

The 46-year-old, who left the police in 2015, was found hanged in August 2016.

An inquest at Stockport Coroners' Court heard he was found wearing a tag used by police for identifying bodies which he had also filled out himself.

The court was told he had filled out his death report on Greater Manchester Police (GMP) stationery.

GP Barbara Ellis saw Mr Summerscales after his was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder by his work's occupational health department following the murder of his colleagues.

Each year around the time of the murders he would begin to feel "very down and not able to cope", and on "several occasions" had talked about suicidal thoughts, Dr Ellis said.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Mr Summerscales' "very good friends" PCs Nicola Hughes (left) and Fiona Bone were killed in September 2012

His son Joshua said his father was deeply affected by the deaths of PCs Bone and Hughes, and his partner Carly Weston added that he had been left "in a very dark place" in the aftermath.

The inquest also heard that Mr Summerscales had been at Hillsborough in 1989, where 96 Liverpool fans died following a crush on the terraces, and Ms Weston said the disaster had affected him.

Coroner Joanne Kearsley was also told he had discovered a body hanging in Stalybridge's Cheetham Park, where he died, in April 2015.

Concluding that he had taken his own life, Ms Kearsley said Mr Summerscales had endured "a number of tragedies" in his life.

"There's no doubts the events of September 2012 affected him greatly," said Ms Kearsley.

"I have no doubt at the time he died he was suffering a relapsing of the condition he had suffered since 2012."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Summerscales was thought to be one of the first to the scene of the two PCs' murders

Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, territorial commander for Tameside, said: "Andrew was a well-liked officer who left GMP in November 2015 and many former colleagues still hold fond memories of him.

"Like many people, Andrew was deeply affected by the murders of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone and the impact of their deaths stayed with him until the day he died.

"At the time of that initial tragedy, GMP faced an unprecedented level of grief and trauma amongst staff and every effort was made to ensure that support was available and the wellbeing of the families, friends and colleagues was paramount to what followed.

"However, it is important to remember that people are individuals and will respond in different ways to offers of support."

He added: "My thoughts today are very much with Andrew, his family, friends and former colleagues."

Cregan, who was also convicted of two other murders, was jailed for life without parole in June 2013.

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