Depressed man leapt off bridge over motorway
8:55am Friday 1st October 2010
A MAN with a history of mental health problems jumped to his death off a motorway bridge, an inquest heard.
Matthew Kirkman, who was dependant on anti-depressants and taking higher doses than prescribed, had been in trouble with the police for breaching the peace, self-harmed and was being encouraged to go into hospital just before he took his own life.
Bolton Coroners Court heard his support worker, Graham Phillips, was driving the 45-yearold and his partner Jacqueline Chapman, home after a meeting with his psychiatrist, Dr Paul Strickland, on May 6.
Mr Kirkman, of Buile Hill Avenue, Little Hulton, directed him towards Eccles, saying there was something there he wanted to see.
When they reached the Albert Street bridge over the M602, he asked Mr Phillips to pull over because he wanted to look and have a cigarette.
In a statement read out to the court, Mr Phillips said: “He was quite aggressive so I pulled over at the bus stop.
“He was out before the car fully stopped, Jacqueline said ‘he’s going to jump’.
“I got out and said ‘let’s get back in the car’, he turned and looked at me and just climbed over, he put a leg over and just disappeared.”
The court heard Mr Kirkham got over the five foot wall and fell around 20 to 25 metres.
He was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A post mortem examination revealed he had multiple fractures to his skull and spine.
Dr Strickland told the court Mr Kirkham had experienced a period of improvement in 2008-9 but deteriorated this year.
He said: “He had been better but he slipped back again.
“When I saw him that day he was ok, quieter than usual, but he accepted what I was saying although he refused to go to hospital.
“I think he’d had enough and decided to end it.”
The court heard he frequently refused help, was impulsive and wanted a quick-fix, often believing he knew best.
Assistant deputy coroner, Peter Watson, concluded that Mr Kirkman died of multiple injuries and took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.