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13:04 Monday 14 February 2005
A DEPRESSED grandmother who plunged to her death from a motorway bridge two years after her twin grandsons were killed on the Stocksbridge bypass was suicidal, an inquest heard.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul Rainford told the Sheffield inquest Christine Faulkner had been having thoughts about suicide. He said: “Mrs Faulkner had been on anti-depressants for a long time. When I saw her she was clearly having thoughts about suicide. She was depressed and distressed, but I did not think she was actually going to go out and do it.”
Mrs Faulkner, aged 57, died after falling on to the M1 motorway at Thorpe Hesley. It was a second heartbreaking blow for the Faulkner family. Two years earlier,her daughter Joanne’s four-year-old twins, Kieran and Thomas Moore, were killed when their mother’s BMW collided with a lorry on the Stocksbridge bypass.
The inquest heard Mrs Faulkner, of Cowley Drive, Chapeltown, had suffered from depression for more than 30 years and was devastated by the deaths of her grandsons. In a statement, her husband Ken Faulkner said: “She was at rock bottom with depression. She could not see light at the end of the tunnel and said there was no enjoyment in her life.
The week before her death I had to rush her to the Northern General Hospital after she took an alcohol overdose.” On the morning of her death, Mrs Faulkner stayed in bed while her husband went shopping but when he returned she had gone missing. Mr Faulkner said: “I went to look for her but then the police rang and told me there had been an accident so I had to identify her body.”But I do not believe she would take her own life. I think she went to the bridge as a cry for help and that she fell accidentally.
“Mrs Faulkner had been taking the anti-depressant drug lithium since the mid-1970s when she suffered from post-natal depression. After the death of Kieran and Thomas Mr Faulkner led a campaign in The Star for improvements to the Stocksbridge bypass and Mrs Faulkner had several appointments with a bereavement councillor.The inquest continues.