A "loving father" from Bolton died after a tragic accident following a night out.

Ashley Murphy-Hayes was aged 26 when he died on Sunday, January 8 this year, Bolton Coroners Court heard on Wednesday.

Mr Murphy-Hayes, of Brookhouse Avenue, Farnworth, had been on a night out with his girlfriend, Katrina Kirkby, and his friend, Paul Barrett, in the Bradshawgate area of Bolton town centre on Saturday, January 7.

However, in the early hours of January 8, he was found by passers-by with his neck stuck in between railings on a side street off Bradshawgate.

He was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital but was pronounced dead later that morning.

The inquest heard how Mr Murphy-Hayes, although out of work at the time of his death, had last worked refurbishing alloy wheels on cars.

In a statement she had previously given, his mother, Sarah Murphy-Hayes, highlighted some of her son’s interests, including "boxing, fishing, going on nights out" and he also "liked his cars and motorbikes".

He had also been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Mr Murphy-Hayes’ friend, Paul Barnett, had been out with him on the night of January 7. He gave evidence to the inquest.

He told the inquest how, having originally met at school, the two would "speak to each other every day".

Mr Barnett told how on January 7, Mr Murphy-Hayes had "seemed to be fine", being his "usual annoying self, but in a good way".

The two, along with Mr Murphy-Hayes’ girlfriend, Katrina Kirkby, attended ROC on Bradshawgate, followed by Bamboogy on the same street.

Mr Barnett followed the couple as they began to argue and left the club, continuing to argue outside.

The three then walked back in the direction of the club but Mr Murphy-Hayes went down a side street to go for a cigarette.

When asked by coroner John Pollard if this concerned Mr Barnett at all, he said: “He never, to my knowledge, attempted to harm himself.”

Mr Barnett and Ms Kirkby then returned to the club.

But later in the night he was told by a bouncer who he knew "not to go down the road" as "Ash had been taken to hospital".

He then attended the hospital.

Passers-by Mbekezeli Mayo and Jude Esan had found Mr Murphy-Hayes with his neck stuck between railings, unresponsive and with no pulse at around 4am that morning.

Mr Mayo detailed in a statement how the two "lifted him out of the railing", noticing his body was "completely limp".

A nightclub manager then called the police and an ambulance.

Paramedics and staff at Royal Bolton Hospital attempted to resuscitate Mr Murphy-Hayes, but he did not respond and was pronounced dead just before 5am on January 8.

Pathologist Dr Patrick Waugh gave Mr Murphy-Hayes’ medical cause of death as asphyxia due to neck compression.

Greater Manchester Police Detective Inspector Izzy Dever said that there was no third party involvement in his death.

In a tribute following the inquest, Mr Murphy-Hayes’ family said: “He was respected and loved by many, and he will be missed.

“You knew when Ashley was in the room.

“He was a loving father to his son.”

They added: “We would also like to thank the people that tried to help him, and all that came to his aid.

“For anyone struggling with their mental health, there is always somebody there that will listen.

“Some good charities are Mind and Andy’s Man Club.”

Concluding, Mr Pollard accepted the pathologist’s medical cause of death and ruled the death as having been accidental.

He said: “I have heard hundreds, possibly thousands of times of pathologists over the decades. You would be amazed how quickly you can lose consciousness due to compression of the neck.

“I think he has lost consciousness very quickly, and he does sag which then puts all the pressure on his neck.”

Mr Pollard offered his condolences to the family.