OPPORTUNITIES to better understand the state of mind of a Pontypool man who died in a garage explosion could "potentially" have been missed.

Christopher Jones died in an explosion in the garage at his mother and step-father’s house on Coed Camlas in New Inn on July 22, 2019.

Mr Jones, 32, had been a patient at the Talygarn Unit at Pontypool's County Hospital, and had been permitted a two-hour period of unescorted leave from the ward on the day of his death.

Louise Hale, named nurse and mental health nurse at Talygarn, told the inquest jury today that opportunities to engage with Mr Jones, to better understand his state of mind, could “potentially” have been missed.

When the ward was busy, she said, staff “might not be able to spend as much time with the patients”.

“But, our priority is the patients,” she said.

“Even when we are busy.”


Mr Jones’s records, upon being transferred from to Talygarn from Ty Skirrid in Abergavenny in June, stated that he was at ‘high risk of suicide'.

The records were also marked with ‘all staff please read’.

Ms Hale said that she had not seen this document when Mr Jones was transferred to Talygarn.

One of Mr Jones’ triggers, according to his record, was loneliness. However, the jury heard that there were ‘almost daily accounts’ of him spending a lot of time alone in his room.

Ms Hale said that staff knew Mr Jones well and were aware of his risks and triggers, but said that Mr Jones liked to watch television in his room during times when he was not socialising with others.

She said one-to-one time was important and had planned for a more informal approach with Mr Jones.

She said she had found that that worked better than more structured formal settings.

The inquest continues.