‘Talented but troubled’ young father who took his own life was worried the unborn child would be taken from him


A ‘troubled’ father who took his own life was afraid his unborn child would be taken from him, an investigation has heard.

Talented musician Christopher Knott, from Stockport, died in hospital six days after overdosing on several prescription drugs.

The 26-year-old fell unconscious the morning after fleeing the hotel room he shared with his pregnant partner and was discovered after a frantic search.

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A coroner ruled that Mr Knott, who suffered from “very significant” mental health problems, had intended to take his own life and that fears that his son would be cared for due to his drug use were having a “significant impact”. at. .

His family, who said he was “not a bad boy”, have now paid him an emotional tribute, saying his death has had a devastating effect on their lives.

Knott struggled with mental health issues for most of his life, the hearing was told.

It was said that he suffered from borderline schizophrenia. However, he had a phobia of hospitals and refused to work with specialized mental health services. As a result, his parents said they believe he may have been misdiagnosed.

Knott began using drugs as a teenager and after leaving home was homeless for periods, the hearing said.

His mother, Beverley Knott, said, “It was like there were two sides to Christopher.”

“He was very talented and very loving and caring,” she said.

The inquest was held at South Manchester Coroner’s Court in Stockport.

However, he said he too was “very worried” and at times “lived his life very differently from anyone else”.

At the time of her death in May last year, she had moved into a hotel and was staying with her partner, who is five months pregnant.

One of Mr. Knott’s other children had been given up for adoption at birth the inquest heard.

And giving testimony during the hearing, his father David Knott said: “I personally think he was scared.

“He had already lost one of his children to his drug use and I think he was afraid of losing the other child.”

On May 20 last year, Knott’s parents were alerted by their partner that, after an “argument” around 5pm, he had left his room after threatening to overdose.

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Unbeknownst to her partner and parents, at around 6:20pm that night, she called her GP in Rochdale and questioned the receptionist about what would constitute a fatal overdose.

He then had a lengthy conversation with one of the surgery’s GPs to whom he did not reveal where he was, but did reveal that he had taken what was described as a “very significant” overdose of various drugs.

He also told the doctor, who alerted the police, that he wanted to take his own life.

That sparked a frantic search with police who visited the hotel where he had been staying, before his parents found Mr Knott nearby.

Knott died at Stepping Hill Hospital.

He had been hiding in a container to try not to be found and due to his phobia, he refused to go to the hospital, according to the investigation.

His family said they feared he would run away again and go unnoticed if they alerted doctors.

Police Forensic Officer Andrew Stevenson of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) also told the hearing that officers had also made a decision not to approach him once they found him so as not to “inflame the situation”.

Christopher’s parents took him out for a bite to eat before escorting him home to the Cheadle Heath area of ​​Stockport.

He did not reveal details of what he had taken, and his father said he “just said he took some of his tablets.”

As a result, his family sat watching him all night. And they immediately raised the alarm when around 10 am the next day, May 21, he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest.

Resuscitation attempts were initially successful and he spent several days in hospital, however his condition worsened and he died in Stepping Hill on 26 May.

An autopsy found that he died of bronchopneumonia due to hypoxic brain injury caused by cardiorespiratory arrest.

Toxicology analysis found that he had ingested a number of drugs. Several were not currently being prescribed and their origin was unclear, the hearing said.

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Coroner Christopher Morris recorded a finding of suicide at South Manchester Coroner’s Court in Stockport on Monday after what he said was a “deeply tragic case”.

“I heard he was someone with a lot of good qualities. He was funny, he was talented and he could be very caring,” she said.

Christopher Knott’s family said that he “wasn’t a bad boy” and that he “thought about the world of his children”.

“Clearly, he was also someone who had more than his fair share of trouble in his life.

“He had some very significant mental health issues, the precise nature of which I don’t think was really appreciated or understood.

“He also got involved, at various stages of his life, with the drug scene, which would have caused him more problems.

“On May 20 of last year, he had some kind of discussion or exchange of words with his partner.

“Obviously he was in a state of great anxiety.

“He was concerned that his unborn child might be cared for. Something that is clear was having a significant effect on him.”

Morris said that after finding him, his parents were placed in an “envious” position and that they had “gone out of their way” for him.

Morris said he believed it was likely that Knott, who had a history of self-harm, had taken the overdose with the intent to take his own life and that he “inevitably” had to record a conclusion of suicide.

In a post-hearing statement, Christopher’s parents and his sister Jen McAndrew said that Christopher was a loving father, son and brother and that his death had left a great impact on their lives.

They told the Manchester Evening News: “He was kind, he cared.

“He was very talented. He was a fantastic musician. That was where he found his inner peace, through his music.

“We knew he loved us.

“He thought about the world of his children and would do anything for them if they let him.

“He was also very protective of his sister.

“He liked to travel and he liked the open space.

“He had a tough life. But he wasn’t a bad kid and he was trying to do the right thing.”

Speaking about the impact his death had had on them, they said: “It’s just devastating.

“We are struggling to accept it. I don’t think there are words to adequately describe it.”

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“We will have to live with this for the rest of our lives.

“I think the research has also held us back in terms of grieving.

“It’s like a part of us is gone.

“Luckily we have their children and we can make sure they remember what a crazy father they had.”

Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write how you feel, or if you are concerned about being heard over the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected], write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING , FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.

for the support of people if you are feeling suicidal, if you are worried about someone or if you are grieving suicide, visit http://shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk

CALMA (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline for men who are depressed or have hit a wall for whatever reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They are open from 5 pm to midnight, 365 days a year.

Greater Manchester Mourning Service Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can help find support for anyone in Greater Manchester who has suffered a loss or been affected by a death. No one needs to feel alone while dealing with their pain. www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk

Children line (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not appear on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organization that supports adolescents and young adults who feel suicidal.

Beat Eating Disorders: Beat provides adult and youth helplines that offer support and information on eating disorders. These helplines are free to call from all phones. Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677, Student Line: 0808 801 0811, Youth Line: 0808 801 0711. www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Anorexia and bulimia care: ABC provides ongoing care, emotional support, and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders, those who are personally struggling, and parents, family, and friends. Helpline: 03000 11 12 13. www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/

students against depression is a website for students who are depressed, moody, or have suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for children and adults affected by bullying. studentsagainstdepression.org

For information and links to charities and organizations that can help with substance abuse, visit https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/drugs/

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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