FORMER Welsh Government minister Carl Sargeant was "shell-shocked" by allegations of misconduct around women, his widow has told his inquest.

Alyn and Deeside AM Mr Sargeant, 49, was found dead at his home in Connah's Quay on November 7, 2017 - four days after he was sacked from his job as cabinet secretary for communities and children after the "bombshell" claims.

Giving evidence at his inquest at Ruthin County Hall today, Bernie Sargeant said her husband had phoned her from Cardiff after being called down for the cabinet reshuffle on November 3.

She said: "I think Carl's words at first were 'I've been binned'.


"I said 'Well, that's ok, love, it's fine'.

"He said something about allegations and I said 'What do you mean?' He said 'I don't know, I have got no idea'."

She said that, after he was sacked, he told her he had only been given a broad description of the allegations, and first minister Carwyn Jones had said he could not give him any more information and the matter had been passed to the Labour Party.

She said: "He was shocked, you could feel this has come as a total shock to him."

Mrs Sargeant said her husband was "desperate for information" and told her he was going to seek legal advice.

She added: "He's been sacked, then there had been that (the allegations) as well, but no support was offered to him, so it was like 'What do I do?'"

Mrs Sargeant said the allegations were particularly difficult for her husband because of his work campaigning against domestic abuse.

She said: "I think you could say many other things, but because it was involving people who he really wanted to help he was shell-shocked."

Mrs Sargeant said she and the family travelled down to Cardiff to be with Mr Sargeant on November 3 and he appeared "ashen" and "deflated".

She told the court: "It was the worst time ever of my family's life and it still doesn't feel real."

The couple travelled home to Connah's Quay the following Monday and, the court heard, the next morning Mrs Sargeant found her husband on the floor in the washroom adjacent to the kitchen.

Mrs Sargeant said she believed support should be put in place for those against whom allegations are made.

She said: "I never want this to happen to anybody else. My children have lost their dad, it's 609 days today.

"Lessons have got to be learned."


She agreed that the family had been "out of their depth" in the situation.

She added: "It shouldn't have happened to us, I believe we should have had more support."

The court heard that Mrs Sargeant had met her husband in Connah's Quay when she was about 17.

Coroner for north Wales (east and central) John Gittins asked if it was love at first sight and she replied: "Something like that."

He became involved in politics when he joined the town council, before becoming an Assembly Member in 2003, she said.

She told the Coroner's Court that her husband had been prescribed anti-depressants in 2012 and 2014 following a traumatic life event but had been "in a better place" until the week before his death, when things deteriorated.

The inquest into Mr Sargeant's death was adjourned after five days in November last year but resumed on Monday, when former first minister Mr Jones was recalled to give evidence.

Mr Jones, who stepped down as Labour leader in December, denied that he had lied during his previous evidence about the care provided to Mr Sargeant after he lost his cabinet role.

Mr Sargeant's provisional cause of death has been recorded as hanging. His son Jack succeeded him as AM for Alyn and Deeside in a by-election four months following his father's death.

The inquest continues tomorrow.