A BARBER found hanged in his shop had been told by his solicitor he could face life in prison just two days before his death, an inquest heard.

In another development at Craig Durham's inquest yesterday, coroner Alan Walsh criticised Bolton Crown Court for a “serious” mistake in recording his bail conditions wrongly.

On the morning of his death, Mr Durham, scared of going back to prison, had been told he had breached his bail after the alarm connected to his electronic tag had sounded.

Mr Durham, aged 41, of Bolton Road, Kearsley, faced charges in relation to a crash at the Dog and Partridge pub on October 29.

The court heard that Mr Durham was trying to kill himself at the time of that incident, getting out of the car and saying, wrongly, that all his family had been killed and “chopped up”.

He was then found hanged on January 16 in his Farnworth hairdressing business, Clyde’s.

On January 14 he had met with representatives from solicitors Cyril Morris Arkwright, and, in a meeting with solicitor Kimberley Morton, he asked whether his sentence might be suspended.

His father Malcolm said he was told he might get a maximum of life imprisonment for endangering lives, and five years jail for dangerous driving.

Mrs Morton said: “I recall saying that when Craig Durham asked about the risk of custody I explained the serious nature of the cases and that these were maximum sentences.”

Mr Walsh asked: “Did you say the maximum sentence was life?”

Mrs Morton said: “I think I did, yes.”

Mr Durham’s father said: “He was telling customers he might get life, he might get five years.

“He had got it into his head he was definitely going back to prison.”

The court heard that Mr Durham was on bail before a crown court appearance.

He was subject to a curfew between 7pm and 6am, but the crown court had recorded it incorrectly as until 7am.

On the morning of his death the alarm sounded at 6.12am, due to a fault, while Mr Durham was still in the house.

When it had happened previously police had been sent to arrest him.

Mr Durham’s father said he was convinced the same would happen again.

Coroner Mr Walsh said: “We have to accept that on occasions the equipment is faulty.

“You would be entitled to raise a complaint with the crown court.

“I think it’s quite a serious mistake, sending wrong information to the electronic monitoring service.”

The hearing was told that Mr Durham had consistently smoked cannabis and had continued to do so on a holiday to Jamaica with friends, from which he returned two days before the pub crash.

Professor Rajid Nathan, a psychiatrist, said he had diagnosed Mr Durham with psychosis, but said he did not recommend he be detained under the Mental Health Act after meeting him on December 19.

A recurrence of the psychosis was unlikely, provided Mr Durham abstained from cannabis.

He had drunk bleach the day before the Dog and Partridge crash, and was taken to hospital, and his family said he was not the same person when he returned from his holiday.

Mr Durham’s father added: “I just want to say what a wonderful son he was.

“Nearly 200 people attended his funeral.”

Mr Walsh recorded a verdict of suicide and said he was satisfied that whatever Mr Durham had taken in Jamaica would have had the most impact on him.