Depressed student committed suicide by jumping off university building, inquest told (From The Argus)
Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Depressed student committed suicide by jumping off university building, inquest told
A 20-year-old student committed suicide by throwing himself from a university building, an inquest has heard.
Matthew Cole, of Bognor, was seen by fellow students to fall from the building at the University of Portsmouth on January 13.
Attempts were made to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.
His father, Alan Cole, said that his son, who was studying forensic psychology, had not spoken of any problems to him.
He told the Portsmouth inquest: "He would come home on bank holidays and Christmas but after five days he was bored and he would come back again because he loved his life here.
"He was fine with it (university life), he seemed to be going through it comfortably."
He said that his son had a singular episode of "feeling low" when he was 14 and had seen a doctor about this.
The inquest was told that Mr Cole visited the university's doctor twice in December last year saying that he was depressed and had sat on the top of a three-storey supermarket car park and had considered jumping off.
Dr Deborah Thomas said that she diagnosed him as suffering from depression and prescribed him anti-depressants and asked him to return to see her after the Christmas holidays.
She said: "He said he had been low really since a teenager, he couldn't give a reason why. He said he had been doing well at university but recently his attendance had fallen off.
"He said his family was happy and his parents were married and together and there was no history there. He was eloquent, he made good eye contact, he did cry a bit during the consultation."
She added that he asked if marijuana could lead to mood problems and she said that she advised him to avoid taking it.
Mr Cole's friends told the inquest that he had been stressed over work and financial difficulties but had seemed to improve prior to his death.
Coroner David Horsley said: "I must confess that I am as perplexed as Matthew's family as why this should be the case.
"On one level he was happy, on a different level he was very depressed. I am sure if his family had appreciated what was happening you would have done your best to help him.
"For some reason he didn't want to reveal that side of him at home."
Mr Horsley said a post mortem examination showed that the cause of death was multiple injuries and Mr Cole had taken "therapeutic levels" of the prescribed anti-depressant.
He recorded a verdict that Mr Cole took his own life while suffering from severe depression.
Mr Horsley added: "He must have been severely depressed to do that, he had a full life in front of him, (he was) an intelligent young man."
Comments are closed on this article.