A SOLDIER from Wrexham died of 'severe' self-inflicted neck wounds - just hours after he'd been assessed by a hospital psychiatrist, an inquest heard.

Nicholas Richard Edwards, known as 'Nick', died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital's intensive therapy unit (ITU) on November 30, 2020.

On Friday (October 15) at County Hall in Ruthin, an inquest was held into the 27-year-old's death.

It heard that Mr Edwards, a father-of-one, had served in the Royal Engineers as a sapper - and only injury had prevented from becoming a commando and a Special Boat Service (SBS) operative.

The court was told that Mr Edwards, of John Wilkinson Court, Brymbo, "absolutely lived for the army" after joining the military aged 22.

However, worsening mental health issues, which saw him spend short spells in mental health hospitals in Peterborough and Staffordshire, resulted in him being told he would be medically discharged from the armed forces in February 2021.

The inquest was told this was a "massive blow" to Mr Edwards as the army was "his life".

Mr Edwards, who was a regular at the Red Lion in Marchwiel, had recently started working at the Amazon site in Deeside and was living with his father, Richard Hall, at the time of his death.

The inquest was told that in the period prior to his death, Mr Edwards hadn't been taking his prescribed anti-psychotic medication.

On November 29, 2020, Mr Edwards visited the emergency department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital after causing a minor injury to his neck using a pair of scissors.

At the emergency department, a mental health assessment took place - but as he was still a member of armed forces at that time, he was under the care of the armed forces' mental health service, based in Telford, Shropshire.

This meant a referral had to be made by the hospital the following day to the service in Telford.

Mr Edwards was discharged from hospital late on November 29, and returned home with his father.

The following morning, Mr Edwards had asked his father if he could take his son, Logan, to football.

Mr Hall returned to his son's bedroom roughly five minutes later to find that his son was bleeding.

"I ran over to the bed, pulled the covers off and he had a kitchen knife in his right hand and a gaping wound on his neck," Mr Hall told the hearing.

"I grabbed the knife out of his and immediately applied pressure to the wound to try and stop the bleeding. I had to briefly leave the room to call for an ambulance and unlock the front door so the paramedics come could come straight in."

Upon arrival of paramedics, Mr Edwards, who had sustained a "severe neck laceration", was attended to and then taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital's emergency department.

Mr Edwards had lacerated an artery in his neck, and despite emergency surgery, he sadly died on November 30.

A medical cause of death was recorded as hypoxic brain injury (lack of oxygen to the brain) due to carotid artery laceration.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales East and Central, said despite the seriousness of the act of self-harm committed, there was a lack of evidence to support a conclusion of suicide.

Mr Gittins said there was no form of note left, and he'd never expressed suicidal ideation in the past. Mr Gittins also noted that Mr Edwards did so in a place where he could reasonably be expected to be found.

Mr Gittins described it as an "extremely dangerous cry for help", and said Mr Edwards likely may not have been in his right mind due to not taking his medication.

Mr Edwards has previously been described as the "best dad to Logan" and "the best mate anyone could wish for".

The inquest was also told that as a result of Mr Edwards' organs being donated, two lives have since been saved by kidney transplants - something his family is "incredibly proud of him" for.

  • Anyone feeling at risk of self-harm can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116 123.