CARL Sargeant told his driver he had brought his sacking on himself after making a throat cutting gesture, an inquest heard.

During the fourth day of the inquest into the Alyn and Deeside AM’s death, coroner John Gittins heard from ministerial driver Calvin Williams.

Mr Williams was the driver who had collected Mr Sargeant from Cardiff Central and taken him to his meeting with the First Minister in which he was removed from his post on November 3, 2017.

He also collected him after the meeting and drove him to Cardiff city centre.

Mr Gittins, coroner for North Wales (East and Central) asked Mr Williams to talk him though the journeys and to describe Mr Sargeant's demeanour.

He said Mr Sargeant had seemed his usual 'chirpy' self on the way there, but that he had become quiet afterwards.

The inquest heard a note Mr Williams said he had written following Mr Sargeant's death, in which he described an exchange between them during the journey to the city centre.

He'd asked Mr Sargeant if all was 'ok' the inquest heard - to which he had replied 'no' and made a 'throat cutting' gesture.

According to the note, when asked why the First Minister would have sacked him Mr Sargeant had said: "It's ok, it's my own fault - I've brought it on myself."

When asked if he was going to be ok, the driver said Mr Sargeant had replied: "It's complicated - yes, I just need some time to myself."

Mr Williams told the hearing he had made the First Minister aware of the note within a few days of writing it and he had shown it to him.

He was later asked by the head of legal services at the Welsh Government whether he would be willing to go on record about the note, which he said he would.

When questioned by Leslie Thomas QC, representing the family, Mr Williams told the hearing that when driving Lesley Griffiths AM later that day she had expressed concern for Mr Sargeant and had called him.

Mr Thomas quoted from the witness statement of the First Minister, in which he had said that Mr Williams had made him aware of the note on the evening of November 3.

The Leader:

First Minister Carwyn Jones leaving the inquest yesterday

Asked whether he had indeed spoken to Carwyn Jones about Mr Sargeant on that day, he said he did not doubt the First Minister's words, but that he could not remember having spoken to him about it on that day.

Craig Stephenson, director of engagement at the National Assembly of Wales, was director of commissioned services at the time of Mr Sargeant's sacking.

He told the inquest that he and his team first became aware of Mr Sargeant's removal from post via social media, then through the National Assembly's security office.

A request came through on the afternoon of November 3 to change the permissions on Mr Sargeant's security pass - which he said was unusual as his team did not usually get those types of notifications, even when a minister was removed from post.

Of the three ministers removed from government that day, Mr Sargeant was the only one to have his security changes requested the same day - but he would not have known that, Mr Stephenson said.

He also explained the National Assembly worked with a contractor called Care First which offered an employee support program for assembly commission staff, assembly members and staff that AMs employ.

The coroner read a statement from Jessica Sullivan of Care First, in which she said she was only made aware of Mr Sargeant's dismissal through national news stories.

The first contact made came by email from a member of the National Assembly's HR team on November 7, she said, advising the firm of the death of Mr Sargeant.

The coroner asked Mr Stephenson whether any protocols existed relating to the removal of staff on Fridays or before holidays.

He said: "There is what we consider a good practice measure. Our HR department would not generally dismiss people on a Friday or on a holiday so they could still access services such as GPs during the working week."

Asked whether he felt it would be better practice for people not to be removed from post on a Friday, Mr Stephenson said he was 'persuaded by the argument about the lack of support'.

The inquest continues this afternoon.