Carl Sargeant was ‘unaware’ of exact allegations against him before death

Carl Sargeant. Picture: PA
Carl Sargeant. Picture: PA
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The family of former Welsh Assembly member Carl Sargeant has released correspondence indicating he was facing allegations of “unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping” at the time of his death.

The family confirmed the Labour politician was unaware of the exact details of the allegations at the time of his death, and said his distress at being unable to defend himself properly meant he was not afforded “common courtesy, decency or natural justice”.

Mr Sargeant is understood to have taken his own life four days after being sacked from his role as communities and children secretary in the Welsh Government.

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In a letter and email sent to the Labour Party on Monday, Mr Sargeant’s solicitor Huw Bowden made clear that the Alyn & Deeside AM “categorically denied” any wrongdoing and appealed to the party to provide details of the accusations against him.

He noted the party had confirmed that no “parallel investigations”, such as a police inquiry, were being conducted.

Writing the day before the 49-year-old’s death, Mr Bowden warned that the case was causing Mr Sargeant anxiety and distress and that any delays in concluding the party’s investigation would be “prejudicial ... to his physical and mental well-being”.

Mr Bowden complained that broadcast interviews by Carwyn Jones, in which the Welsh First Minister said he had been informed of “a number of incidents” relating to Mr Sargeant’s behaviour with women, were prejudicing the inquiry.

A family spokesman said: “Up to the point of his tragic death on Tuesday morning, Carl was not informed of any of the detail of the allegations against him despite requests and warnings regarding his mental welfare.

“The correspondence also discloses the solicitor’s concern that media appearances by the First Minister on Monday were prejudicing the inquiry.

“The family wish to disclose the fact that Carl maintained his innocence and he categorically denied any wrongdoing. The distress of not being able to defend himself properly against these unspecified allegations meant he was not afforded common courtesy, decency or natural justice.”

The family had earlier said in a statement his relatives were “devastated beyond words” at the loss of “the glue that bound us together”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the death was “terrible and deeply shocking news”.

Mr Sargeant, who is understood to have taken his own life, was a “much loved husband, father and friend”, a statement released by the family said.

The statement said: “Carl was a much loved husband, father and friend. He wasn’t simply a part of our family. He was the glue that bound us together. He was the heart of our family. We loved him so very much.

“He was the most kind and caring husband, father, son and friend.

“We are devastated beyond words, and we know our grief will be shared by all those who knew and loved him.

“We are in shock and grief. We ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”

In a statement, Superintendent Mark Pierce of North Wales Police said: “At approximately 11:30am today, Tuesday November 7, North Wales Police were called to a report that the body of a man had been found at an address in Connah’s Quay.

“The man has been formally identified as local AM Carl Sargeant. His next of kin have been informed and police are supporting the family.

“North Wales Police are not treating his death as suspicious and the matter has been referred to HM Coroner.

“The family request that their privacy is respected at this sad time.”

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