'Low risk' suicide patient died after cliff fall

A father-of-three who was seen as a low risk suicide patient killed himself by jumping from Beachy Head.

Wayne Ashton, 41, from Ashley Gardens, Amberstone, near Hailsham, died from multiple injuries on May 15 2008.

Mr Ashton battled with depression for several years and had slashed his wrists in September 2007 and February 2008, an inquest heard at Eastbourne on Tuesday.

He also told doctors that Beachy Head was his favoured place to commit suicide.

GP Dr Jane Wiggins reported that Mr Ashton told doctors about his suicidal tendencies.

He was classed a low risk suicide patient and given several courses of anti depressants.

Mr Ashton received some counselling and was in contact with a self-help group.

Mr Ashton's partner Colleen McCarthy described in a court statement how Mr Ashton's family kept a close eye on him.

She said: 'Anti depressants did help him but he said he did not want to be alive anymore.

'He said he did want to kill himself.'

Mr Ashton suffered a brain haemorrhage after a road accident in 1975 and was in a coma for three weeks.

He also suffered from epilepsy, bilateral field loss, arm weakness and short term memory impairment as a result of the accident.

His sister Paula Ashton said he brother looked like a 'happy go lucky person' in her court statement. But she added: 'He was very good at hiding his feelings.'

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict that Mr Ashton took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

After the inquest Mr Ashton's father Antony talked to the Express.

He said: 'I feel that the medical profession let him down. They didn't respond quickly to his needs.

'After the two suicide attempts they released Wayne from hospital without letting his family know.

'I don't want anyone to go through what our family has gone through because of someone else's inadequacies.'