Man’s fatal jump from pier was a ‘cry for help’

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A 59-YEAR-OLD man who died after jumping from the town’s pier was making a cry for help, an inquest has heard.

Christopher Brigg, who had a long history of mental illness with many incidents of self-harm, suffered head and chest injuries when he jumped from the fishing area at the end of Eastbourne Pier on December 4, 2009. He was recovered by the lifeboat and taken to Eastbourne DGH but pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

An inquest into his death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday (February 11).

Mr Brigg, who lived at Clifton Court Care Home in Ore, Hastings, left his home at around midday on December 4 and asked the staff to save his lunch.

The care home staff said his mental health was stable and they were very surprised at what had happened.

Gill Ramsay, the assistant manager at the care home, said, “He seemed fine. He said he had a nice walk back from the doctors – the sun was out.

“The previous week he had been in to town and bought himself some clothes.

“He was also looking forward to going up to see his mum to give her Christmas presents.”

Mr Brigg’s cousin Jonathan Cole, who had been visiting Mr Brigg regularly, said, “There had been a gradual improvement and contentment. I had no inkling at all.”

Matthew Dudley, Mr Brigg’s community psychiatric nurse, told the coroner Mr Brigg had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his mood could change very quickly.

He said many of Mr Brigg’s self-harming attempts, such as putting his finger in a plug socket, would not have killed him but attracted attention.

Mr Dudley said, “My best guess is that he didn’t mean to be in Eastbourne and that was the trigger which caused his change in mood.”

Mr Craze recorded a verdict of death by misadventure and added, “He has clearly done something bizarre and dangerous but the question I have to ask myself is what was his intention.

“I do not believe this was a suicide attempt.

“It would be a very strange way to commit suicide with the only certainty being getting very wet.”