Landscape gardener dies at cliffs near Eastbourne

A 56-year-old man died at the cliffs near Eastbourne this summer, an inquest heard.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 9:45 am

A 56-year-old man died at the cliffs near Eastbourne this summer, an inquest heard.

The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (December 2), heard Christopher Norton, a landscape gardener from St Andrews Avenue in Hornchurch, East London, died at Beachy Head on July 5 this year.

Dr Ronald Mak, Mr Norton’s GP, said when he saw him a month before he died, his mood was low and he was anxious.

Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-210216-141625001

Dr Mak said he was showing a lack of motivation, struggling to sleep, and told the doctor he didn’t know why he was worrying.

Kim Norton, his wife, said he was a ‘born worrier’ and thinks covid must have caused him more stress than she thought.

She said, “He was silently suffering with depression for longer than we thought. We just thought the covid outbreak was getting to him.”

In response to how he was feeling, Dr Mak said he prescribed anti-depressants to Mr Norton and advised him to contact NHS counselling services which Mr Norton said he would look into.

Mr Norton was only on the anti-depressants for four days before he died, the inquest heard.

Steve Crump and David Clark were out photographing the Beachy Head lighthouse on July 5 when they found Mr Norton’s body at the base of the cliffs at 2.26pm.

The duo called 999 and the emergency services attended.

Mr Craze ruled Mr Norton took his own life.

•If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.