A DAD who died after tying a belt around his neck did not intend to hang himself, an inquest heard.
Darren Gorman, 37, was found in the bedroom of his family home in Kinbrace Road, Hartlepool, on September 24.
Town coroner Malcolm Donnelly ruled that the death was accidental and the act was a cry for help which went wrong when Mr Gorman slipped.
His girlfriend, Stella Marie Smithson, who was sleeping downstairs, woke at 7am and found him in the upstairs bedroom a few minutes later and raised the alarm.
She told the inquest: "I jumped up on the bed and tried to hold him up. I tried to get his weight up, but I couldn't."
Mr Gorman, who had a history of depression and was on medication, was still alive but unconscious and later died at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Ms Smithson added: "I know he was pronounced dead at the hospital, but to me when I looked at him he was already gone.
"I keep thinking if I wasn't downstairs, if I'd been quicker."
The pathologist said Mr Gorman died from cerebral inoxia, which means that the brain was starved of oxygen.
Mr Donnelly told the family he would only have survived for a couple of minutes without the blood flow to his brain.
Mr Donnelly said: "I know one of the things you are concerned about is that I am going to say suicide.
"I don't think it was.
"If he had intended to do this, he would have done things differently, he would have locked the door, he would have been more methodical."
Mr Gorman, an unemployed plumber, was last seen alive by his partner at 5.40am that morning.
She said he seemed normal and asked her to cook him something special for tea the next day.
She said: "He didn't intend to I know he didn't he wouldn't leave us or his son."
The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.