THE bereft family of a man who died in a garage explosion are calling for an investigation to uncover the reason he was allowed to leave a mental health unit unsupervised and why they were not informed.

Christopher Jones died in his family's garage in Coed Camlas, Pontypool on July 22, aged just 32.

He had previously been sectioned at the Torfaen-based Talygarn unit at County Hospital, until he was granted two-hour leave without supervision on the day of his death.

But the family have now hit out, claiming they only discovered of Mr Jones’ unsupervised leave after the explosion that killed him.

South Wales Argus:

(Kathie Jones with her son Christopher)

Mum Kathie Jones and her partner, Brian Travers, are demanding an investigation be carried out to have their many questions answered.

“We want an investigation to find out why firstly he was allowed out without being supervised,” said Mr Travers.

“He had been sectioned for six months before, so who gave the ‘OK’ for him to go on unsupervised leave? It does not make sense.

“The other important part is why we, as his family, were not told of this. We all thought he was still at Talygarn on the day he died.”


He added: “He was like a teenager, not like a 32-year-old. He was kind and softly spoken. We are speaking out because we do not want another tragedy like this to happen.”

The family believe Mr Jones, who had previously been diagnosed with both Asperger Syndrome and Schizophrenia, took his own life and added that he had previously attempted suicide.

Mrs Jones claimed had she been informed of her son’s unsupervised leave she would have objected to it.

“We definitely would not have wanted him on leave without supervision,” she said.

“I cannot believe that we were not even told about it.

“On the day of the explosion, I was on the phone, when my partner heard a massive bang. We all left our houses and were not allowed back in. I had left my phone in the house. When I later got it, I saw a missed call from Talygarn. I rang them and they said that Christopher had not returned from his leave.

“My life stopped when I heard that. And that was the first time I had heard of him being on leave without supervision.”

South Wales Argus:

(Kathie Jones and Brian Travers at home.)

She added: “There are no words that can describe how we are feeling. I just hope an investigation can go ahead.”

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “Our thoughts are with Christopher’s family at this very difficult time.

"We have been in contact with his family and as the investigation progresses we will continue to link with them to provide any support and assistance that they require.”