Wife of Manchester musician Craig Gill tells inquest her husband had long suffered from sleep deprivation and anxiety due to ear condition
The wife of the Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill has said there needs to be a greater awareness of the devastating effects of tinnitus after an inquest into his death returned an open verdict.
Rose Marie Gill issued a statement about the condition after an inquest into her husband’s death heard how the only concern he had in his life was the tinnitus he had had for more than 20 years.
Gill told a coroner how she discovered her 44-year-old husband dead at their home in Greenfield, Greater Manchester, after returning with their children from a day out.
She told the inquest in Heywood, Greater Manchester, that her husband’s death had baffled everyone who knew him and that her husband had no history of depression or suicidal thoughts. “That’s what’s shocking about it. I have no idea where this has come from,” she told the senior coroner for north Manchester, Joanne Kearsley.
In a statement issued after the hearing, she said her husband’s tinnitus became “so unbearable he felt there was no cure” and urged more awareness of the problem and men’s mental health.
She said in the statement: “Instead of reaching out, on that day in November, Craig made the saddest and most tragic of decisions.”
Gill said: “For the past 20 years, Craig suffered from debilitating tinnitus, a condition caused by not protecting his hearing when enjoying the careers he loved the most – a successful musician, DJ and love of listening to music.
“His condition affected his day-to-day wellbeing and he suffered in silence with both sleep deprivation and anxiety.”
She said: “Although we struggle with the day-to-day existence of life without Craig, we are now able to discuss and promote awareness of tinnitus and men’s mental health. It takes courage for men to speak out, to talk to one another, to share their thoughts and their fears.
“If you are one of those men, like Craig, we urge you to reach out to those you love and find comfort in sharing your pain.”
Inspiral Carpets members Graham Lambert, Stephen Holt and Clint Boon attended the inquest. Boon read a statement from the band that said: “We will always remember Craig for his great sense of humour, his passion for music, his incredible skills as a musician and his devotion to his family.
“Craig was a friend, a loyal son and brother, philosophical father and important member of our gang. We feel extremely privileged to have spent the last 30 years making music with him.”
Earlier, Gill had told the inquest how the whole family had set off early in the morning on Sunday 18 November last year and travelled to Media City, in Salford, to watch the recording of a children’s TV Christmas special.
She said that after they arrived at the studios, her husband said it was not something he really wanted to do and they decided he would go home. She said she thought this was perfectly normal behaviour as most men would not want to spend a day watching a children’s show in Christmas jumpers.
Gill described how she spoke to her husband on the phone during the day but he was not at the station to meet them. She said she and the children walked the short distance home, where she discovered his dead body.
DI Ian Harratt said a police investigation had shown no sign of any disturbance at the house but also found no suicide note.
Harratt told the coroner: “There was nothing in the information we have received that this was premeditated or preplanned. It appears to me that this is something that was completely out of the blue. It was something that took everybody who knew Mr Gill completely by surprise.”
The coroner told Gill it was clear her husband was responsible for taking his own life but she could not record a conclusion of suicide because she could not be sure, to the criminal standard of proof, that he had intended to kill himself.
Recording an open conclusion, Kearsley said she was sorry she could not offer the family an explanation for what happened.
She said he was also described as a “pillar of the community” who was “thought of so highly by everybody”.
Gill was a founding member of the Inspiral Carpets and played with the band throughout their heyday in the 1990s, returning when the band reformed 20 years later to tour and record their self-titled album in 2014.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.