Alyn and Deeside Assembly Member Carl Sargeant was left 'broken' after being sacked from his cabinet position, an inquest heard.

The Welsh Government minister, 49, was found dead at his home in 2017, four days after he was dismissed as communities and children secretary by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The Leader:

Carl Sargeant AM

He was facing allegations of inappropriate behavior towards women, a claim the father of two strongly denied.

Resuming an inquest into his death at Ruthin yesterday John Gittins, coroner for North Wales (East and Central), said Mr Sargeant's wife Bernadette had found a hand written note on the door of the utility room asking her not to enter and to call the police.

She did enter however, and discovered Mr Sargeant on the floor.

Mr Gittins read out a note left by Mr Sargeant, addressed to his family, in which he said: "To Bernie, Lucy, Jack and Family/Friends.

"I have let you all down badly. You deserve none of this adverse publicity cause of my acts. I have failed you.

"That aside I love you more than you'll ever know and I'm sorry I've taken the easy way out, leaving you with my s***. Please forgive me. I love you, Carl/dad."

The Leader:

Jack Sargeant AM and his mother Bernie at the Ruthin inquest

Family members attempted to perform CPR on Mr Sargeant until paramedics arrived at the house, following which he was pronounced dead.

A post mortem examination found Mr Sargeant had no alcohol in his system but tests a therapeutic level of anti-depressant medication was detected, Mr Gittins told the hearing.

The examination also confirmed his cause of death to be hanging.

Dr David Morris, Mr Sargeant's GP, told the hearing his patient's struggle with anxiety and depression began in 2012 and that his condition was defined as 'moderately severe.'

The beginning of the condition was linked with the significant illness of another family member, he explained.

Following the diagnosis Mr Sargeant did receive some prescription anti-depressant medications, which were taken on a mostly regular basis in 2017 before he died.

Dr Morris told the hearing that during the consultations in the intervening years, Mr Sargeant reported that when he was working in Cardiff he felt less pressure.

Leslie Thomas QC, representing the family, asked Dr Morris if he agreed that work was a type of 'outlet' for someone with depression and that if things were to 'go bad' at work, the protective factor it provided could be lost - which he said he did agree.

Professor Leighton Andrews, former Assembly Member for Rhondda, told the hearing of his concerns for Mr Sargeant - with whom he had a long friendship - following his removal from his cabinet role.

Prof. Andrews said: "I texted him after the news came out that he was no longer in the cabinet, it was a supportive message. He replied saying thanks."

He told the inquest he had big concerns over the effect Carwyn Jones had on Mr Sargeant's wellbeing following his removal from the position, making particular reference to television interviews the First Minister had given.

He added: "The impact of the interviews with the First Minister, from what I understand, had a significant impact on his state of mind.

"I don't understand why, given this matter had been handed off to the Labour party, the First Minister was then elaborating on the issues of alleged complaints and speculating in those interviews.

"They invited people to conclude that these were incidents rather than allegations and cut across due process."

Asked by the coroner whether he could shed light on what 'acts' Mr Sargent had alluded to in his note, Professor Andrews said he could not.

The Leader:

Sophie Howe arrives at the inquest in Ruthin

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, served as Mr Sargeant's special advisor from 2009 to 2013.

She said: "My experience of Carl was that he was hugely more intelligent than some people gave him credit for.

"He was hugely passionate about the portfolios he had.

"Over the time i worked for him he was up and down and I knew he was taking anti-depressants.

"He was quite open and would tell me if he was having a bad day or week. I think he was trying to overcome his depression and shake himself out of it.

"Sometimes he was successful and others he seemed to deteriorate.

"I think there were a number of pressures in work and pressures with the continuation of the life event."

Mrs Howe also told the hearing that Mr Sargeant had told her he had in the past informed the First Minister of the 'life event' which had led to his depression.

Shortly after his removal from his ministerial post, she said she met with him and that he was 'ashen'.

She added: "He said he didn't know what the allegations were. I was very concerned about him, knowing of his mental health. He was vacant, broken.

"In my view the thing he was most upset about was the absence of information.

"He didn't know what he was dealing with."

Mrs Howe told the hearing how Mr Sargeant's mood seemed to lift by Sunday evening but when a journalist had knocked on his door on the Monday it had upset him and a downward turn had followed.

She awoke the next morning to a message from a concerned friend of Mr Sargeant who had received a question from him asking how to programme a text to be sent at a later time and date.

Mrs Howe told the hearing how she spoke with him and tried to ascertain his reasoning for the question and attempted to lift his spirits as he seemed 'spaced out'.

Also present at the hearing - in addition to friends and family members of Mr Sargeant - were Catherine McGahey representing the First Minister and Georgina Wolfe, legal representative for the Labour Party.

The hearing will resume this morning (Tuesday).