Man made redundant from job of nine years falls from Eastbourne cliffs

John Kielty was taken to Conquest Hospital a day after falling outside Tesco
John Kielty was taken to Conquest Hospital a day after falling outside Tesco

A man who ‘could not see an end to his part-time job and benefits’ fell from Beachy Head, an inquest at Eastbourne heard.

Paul Meaden, 42, a shop assistant at Screwfix, travelled from his home in Fleet to the cliffs where he died on July 16 after he was made redundant from his previous job of nine years.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Meaden’s family said, “He was everybody’s friend. He would make people feel good about themselves.”

In a statement read out at the inquest, the family said, “He text his boss saying ‘sorry can’t talk right now, call you later’. “He must have made his mind up. I think he must have thought ‘I have had enough of my life’.

“I believe this is the fault of government policy. He could not see an end to his part-time job and benefits.

“All he wanted was a full-time job. All he could get is part-time work at Argos or Screwfix.”

The family told the inquest how Paul lived on his own in a flat near to his old work and enjoyed his previous lifestyle.

They said, “He had many friends at his old work. He couldn’t afford to live the lifestyle he was used to. To go out as much. He didn’t have good money.”

The family, from the East Midlands area, told the inquest they had to Google Beachy Head as they were not familiar with the area.

They said their understanding of the cliffs had previously come from dramatisations in UK soap operas.

The inquest heard Mr Meaden travelled by train carrying a bag of belongings which he left at the Beachy Head pub he stopped off at.

Pathologist Dr Zainab Ali said there was no trace of drugs or alcohol in Mr Meaden’s body when she conducted a post-mortem exam. DS Jon Moore, from Sussex Police, who attended the scene, said, “The information I had received is that he was seen by a German tourist as he had jumped.”

DS Moore said he was able to identify Mr Meaden by the driving licence in his pocket and a bank statement found in his bag left at the pub.

Coroner Alan Craze concluded Mr Meaden took his own life.