‘My husband took his own life in the Stockport park where he proposed to me’

Widow Jade has paid tribute to her late husband Craig Murray, saying that she still finds it ‘incredibly difficult’ that he is gone.
Jade and Craig Murray Credit: Irwin Mitchell / SWNSJade and Craig Murray Credit: Irwin Mitchell / SWNS
Jade and Craig Murray Credit: Irwin Mitchell / SWNS

A grieving widow has spoken out about her 'devastating loss' after her husband took his life in the same park where he proposed to her.

Craig Murray, 41, was found hanged at Etherow Country Park in Stockport, in May 2020, three years after popping the question to his wife Jade.

Now two years on, his widow Jade has paid tribute to her late husband, saying that she still finds it 'incredibly difficult' that he is gone.

Jade said: “It’s more than two years since I lost Craig and it’s still incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact he’s no longer here.

Jade and Craig Murray Credit: Irwin Mitchell / SWNSJade and Craig Murray Credit: Irwin Mitchell / SWNS
Jade and Craig Murray Credit: Irwin Mitchell / SWNS

“We had only been married 18 months when he died, Craig’s mental illness was putting a strain on our relationship, but I believe that with the correct treatment Craig would have recovered and we would have spent the rest of our lives together.

"It devastates me that this won’t happen."

An inquest held in December 2020 revealed that on May 18, Craig told his mental health co-ordinator that he had 'thought about' taking his life that week.

His case should have been elevated to a 'red' category at this point, which would have likely resulted in Craig being reassessed either the day or the following day.

Instead, his case remained at ‘amber’ and an agreement was made for the team to speak to Craig twice a week over the phone, including a call on May 21.

Craig MurrayCraig Murray
Craig Murray

However, the scheduled call did not go ahead but an attempt to call Craig was made by the care co-ordinator the following day on May 22 - but he wasn't in.

He was found dead on 23 May, in the same park where he had proposed to Jade, 39, just three and a half years before.

Jade has now instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her husband’s care under the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Jade added: “When his mental health began to deteriorate, he began thinking he was in danger and that people were following him.

"He moved in with his mum just before lockdown as he kept saying he thought I was also in danger and that our home security was being hacked.

"It was awful and I kept pleading with him not to do anything stupid. When he was found in the park, my emotions were all over the place.

"It was such a special location for us as that’s where we got engaged.

"To this day, I still have so many questions over Craig’s death and whether more could have been done to help him.

"While nothing will bring him back to me, I hope that by sharing my story it will highlight the devastating effects that the lack of appropriate support for loved ones with mental health problems can have.

"I hope it will encourage people to seek the treatment and support they need before it’s too late.”

Margaret Ryan, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Jade, said: “Craig’s family remain devastated by what’s happened and his son who was 15 years old at the time is now without a father.

“Anyone can be affected by mental health and it’s vital that people receive the care and support they need.

"World Suicide Prevention Day is an important reminder that those affected need not suffer alone and that it is vital that those effected by mental illness receive the support and treatment that they need

“Sadly, the inquest into Craig’s death highlighted issues in the care provided to him in the lead up to his death.

"We’re now investigating this and will continue to support Jade however we can.”

Clare Parker, director of nursing, healthcare professionals and quality governance at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Craig Murray’s family. Our own investigation supported the findings of the coroner. The Covid pandemic meant that we had to rapidly change the way our teams worked and we accepted that a lack of face-to-face contact was a missed opportunity to reassess Mr Murray. We are very sorry this did not happen.”