AN elderly man who is thought to have thrown himself off a cliff was being laughed at by bus passengers just moments before, a student has said.

The man, who was in his seventies, was found at the bottom of cliffs behind the Asda supermarket car park at Brighton Marina on Wednesday morning.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and police have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

Harley Banks, 18, from Newhaven, said he had been on a bus with the man in the minutes before his death.

The student, who was on his way to DV8 college in Queen Square, Brighton, said: “The man got on near St Dunstan’s and he was clearly suffering from some mental health issues.

“He had a silver walkie talkie with him and a big antenna.

“He ran across the field to get the bus and when he got on he came to the back and sat behind me.

“He was very close, I could feel him breathing down my neck.

“He started talking out loud about a beer can and was saying ‘this should not be allowed’ and ‘you shouldn’t be drinking that on here’.

“He then started going round saying ‘I know it isn’t yours because’ and then giving different reasons.

“That’s when people started laughing.”

Mr Banks said not everyone on the busy bus was laughing at the man, but he said there were “several” who were.

He said: “He clearly felt uncomfortable and became agitated.

“He then said ‘I need to get off this bus otherwise I’m going to be in trouble’. That was the last thing he said.”

Mr Banks said the man got off at the Marine Gate stop before running across the grass and jumping off the cliff.

He said: “Some people were upset but others just acted as if it was something that happened everyday. The bus just carried on.

“I was in a state of shock, I couldn’t stop crying all that day at college.

“It didn’t seem like the man had originally planned to get off there.

“He had only been on for a couple of stops but he was clearly agitated and needed to get off.

“People really should realise the impact of what they are saying.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Emergency services were called at 11.49am on Wednesday, but sadly the man was declared dead at the scene.

“There are no suspicious circumstances and it has been passed to the coroner’s officer.”