A MAN accused of causing the death of a young mum by dangerous driving took his own life before the start of his trial, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Mackintosh, 57, of The Granary, Tredegar, had pleaded not guilty to the charge against him relating to the death of Sarah Jayne Jones, also from the Tredegar area, who was a passenger on his motorbike.

Cardiff Crown Court had previously heard claims that Mackintosh was under the influence of amphetamine at the time of the crash, which saw his motorbike collide with the central reservation on the A465.

But, before he could stand trial, Mr Mackintosh was found dead in his home by his nephew.

Today, Gwent Coroner's Court heard evidence that Mr Mackintosh had given his nephew a key to his home shortly before his death and told him: "You will find my body one day."

Worried for his uncle's wellbeing, his nephew let himself into his home on April 12 this year and found him dead. A note was found by police, and the handwriting was confirmed by his sister to be Mr Mackintosh's.

Gwent Coroner Wendy James said: "In May, 2017, Mr Mackintosh had been riding his motorbike. He was involved in a collision and the pillion passenger sustained fatal injuries. He was due to stand trial in relation to that.

"I will not read out the contents of Mr Mackintosh's note. But suffice to say that the contents leave me in no doubt as to the state of his mind in the time leading up to his death."

The court heard that there was significant amount of morphine and alcohol found in Mr Mackintosh's system, which could either have been prescribed or from heroin.

"It is clear that Andrew was worried about his personal circumstances and this was weighing heavily on his mind. He indicated to his nephew that he would one day find his body."

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Ms James added: "From the evidence before me it's clear Andrew had become overwhelmed by his worries and his mental health issues. As a result he has then consumed the drugs that led to his death."

Ms Jones, whose inquest was also heard today, was the pillion passenger who died on Mr Mackintosh's Yamaha YZF-R1 in April last year.

The 27-year-old mum died after Mr Mackintosh's motorbike collided with the central reservation on the A465 eastbound Heads of the Valleys road between Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr at around 7.30pm on Thursday May 4, 2017.

Gwent Coroner's Court today heard evidence from Alan Jones, who had pulled over in a layby on the A465 to use his phone shortly before the collision happened.

"When I was on the phone I heard a motorbike approaching," said Mr Jones.

"From the sound of the engine it sounded as if it was going too fast. I remember thinking that it was too close to the central reservation.

"I didn't see that there were two people because of the speed it was travelling.

"When it passed I could hear clunking noises. It sounded like metal on metal, and was similar to a hammer hitting a metal bar. There was no other vehicle around that could have made the noise.

"I believe it was hitting against the central reservation."

Shortly afterwards, Mr Jones heard a huge crash. He put down the phone and drove 150 metres down the road.

The court also heard evidence from PC Anthony Parker of Gwent Police, who attended the scene to investigate the crash. PC Haines reported that the motorbike had first used its brakes around 90 metres after the first point of contact with the central reservation.

He noted that at the point the brakes were used the bike was travelling at least 65mph.

A summarised post mortem report from consultant pathologist Dr M Rashid of the Royal Gwent Hospital concluded Ms Jones' cause of death was "multiple lacerations and fractures, blunt vehicular trauma and alcohol, cannabis and ecstasy intake".

Recording a narrative verdict of death as a result of a road traffic collision, Ms James said it was clear that Mr Mackintosh's manner of driving was dangerous.
She concluded: "Ms Jones died as the result of a road traffic collision, riding as the pillion passenger on a motorbike at speed after having consumed alcohol and drugs and after the driver had consumed drugs."

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