‘Psychotic’ 24-stone man died at wedding after flying into rage over dad’s joke

A man died after friends tried to “calm him down” at a boozy wedding reception, an inquest heard.

Kerry Morgan died in the early hours of July 7, 2019, at New Tredegar Rugby Club, south Wales.

The 40-year-old had flown into a "psychotic rage" over an "innocent joke" told by his father, and relatives had held him down.

CCTV footage of the incident showed a confrontation involving Kerry and his father Melvyn Morgan. As Melvyn moved away, his other son Kelvin intervened.

Senior coroner Caroline Saunders asked Kelvin if he had intervened because he wanted to protect his father, Kelvin replied: "Totally."

Ms Saunders went on: "It does appear you have your hands on or near Kerry's throat, is that right? Do you remember your hands being on his neck?"

Kelvin said he did not exert any pressure on his brother's neck, reported Wales Online. He added he had not needed to because he was able to restrain Kerry without doing this.

Asked if he had consciously taken Kerry to the ground, Kelvin replied: "Yes, he's 6ft 4ins and 24 stone, and nobody's stopping him in a total psychotic rage.

"If he got hold of my father, he'd have killed my father."

Police were called at 11.46pm, and Kelvin initially told police that he had “choked out” his brother.

Asked about that statement later, he said: "It was a poor choice of words. It was the only way I could quickly and succinctly describe the situation. I didn't choke him out."

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The first day of the inquest also heard evidence from Kerry's wife Rebecca Morgan, who described the dead man as a "gentle giant”. She had left the reception shortly before the incident.

Rebecca said she did not leave because of any aggression from her husband, but because their daughter had been tired.

Asked if she was aware of Kerry having been restrained in the past, Rebecca said: "I think he's been held by certain members of family. I think once I've seen where there's been an altercation, but I tried to get him out of it.”

Senior coroner Ms Saunders replied: "Police were told he'd been choked out. Were you aware, prior to this, of anyone ever needing to choke him out?"

Rebecca said: "Oh good gosh no, and you would have to be very strong considering his size.”

Rebecca said Kerry had tried different antidepressants for "a few years" before settling on one about a year before his death. He had been aware of warnings over drinking alcohol while on the medication, she added.

She said: "[When drinking] he became very anxious and it would be in situations where he felt hemmed in.

"His go-to was to get out of there, which could be misread as aggression, but if you knew him, he just wanted to be taken away from the situation. He was non-violent."

The court heard amphetamines were found in Kerry's blood after his death. Asked if she had been aware of him taking these drugs, Rebecca said: "In the past, before we were together, but not at that point.”

She added her husband had been battling sleep apnoea for "quite a few years", which meant there were periods when he stopped breathing while asleep. She said this "would have been made worse" by alcohol, but had never before caused him a medical emergency.

The inquest continues. It is expected to last three days.

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