Depressed charity worker in suicide jump — (The Islington Gazette)

SSRI Ed note: "Immensely liked, enormously respected" gets prescription for antidepressants, several weeks later he jumps from high building to his death.

Original article no longer available

The Islington Gazette

22 October 2008

Stephen Wilson

A CHRISTIAN children’s charity worker who jumped to his death from a Finsbury tower block was suffering from depression, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Wilson, 51, had been prescribed anti-depressants by his GP just weeks before he plunged to his death from Emberton Court, in Brunswick Close, off Northampton Square, at 2.30pm on April 17.

He had admitted to having thoughts of hurting himself and had a history of depression dating back to 2002.

Mr Wilson, a human resources director, was a keen church-goer and had worked at Christian charity The Children’s Society, in nearby Margery Street, for 27 years.

Detective Constable Martin Slattery told an inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court: “We received a call from a resident of Brunswick Close to say they had seen something fall from a tower block. We never established which floor he fell from but we suspect it was a high level due to the damage of the body. It could have been the 13th floor.”

Earlier the court heard how Mr Wilson had arrived two hours late for work looking “flustered”.

A female colleague told police they had gone for a cigarette at 1pm before Mr Wilson said “take care of yourself” and “spent an unusual amount of time looking at her before walking off”.

He died 90 minutes later, after leaping from Emberton Court – a high rise tower block half a mile from his work that had no security doors.

No suicide note was left at the scene but police found several books on depression at Mr Wilson’s home in Orpington, Kent.

Coroner Dr Andrew Scott Reid said: “He voluntarily and deliberately walked to the building and entered and climbed to a high level where he jumped. The injuries are such he’s fallen from a height consistent with at least 13 stories. I cannot be persuaded this was a cry for help or an act of misadventure.”

A tribute posted on The Children’s Society website said: “Stephen worked for The Children’s Society for 27 years, man and boy.

“He was a one-off, immensely liked and enormously respected. Extraordinarily gentle with others, he touched an enormous number of lives – someone who was a loyal friend to many in the organisation and to The Children’s Society itself.”

In a separate incident a second man fell to his death from nearby tower block Rahere House, in Central Street, just hours later.

Verdict: Suicide.