Suicide victim left money for cliff rescue team

A 54-YEAR-OLD who took his own life at Beachy Head, left money behind for the cliff rescue team.

Michael O’Dwyer travelled down to the coast and stayed the night in a Travelodge before going to the cliffs on the day he checked out.

An inquest into his death at Eastbourne Magistrates Court heard he had suffered from depression and had previously tried to kill himself.

Mr O’Dwyer, of Latona Road, Southwark, had been under the care of the community mental health team but a statement read out on behalf of his GP said by September last year his suicidal thoughts had decreased.

It added that when he had seen him Mr O’Dwyer had mentioned being worried that his sight problems could affect his employment and that risk assessments had been carried out to monitor how he was feeling.

On February 21 this year Beachy Head Chaplain Mark Pybus had been carrying out a routine patrol and picked out a heat source on his thermal imaging camera which he thought could be a person.

He told the inquest he moved closer to the heat source but couldn’t see anyone in the area.

However, he had also received a call from police saying they were looking for someone else in the area.

A helicopter hovered over the area and spotted a body on the beach.

Because of weather conditions it was agreed to recover it the next day.

A walking stick and rucksack was found a short distance away with a note saying. ‘Please contact my brother first’.

A plastic wallet found on him which had been folded and sealed contained £40 in cash and a note asking it to go to the cliff rescue team.

The inquest heard this money has now gone to the coastguard.

The hearing was also told the words on his t-shirt had read, ‘Caution - watch out for the first step down to the beach - it’s a B***ard.”

Detective Sergeant David Tye gave evidence and said he felt no third party was involved.

A post mortem showed he died of multiple injuries.

Assistant coroner Katherine Palmer recorded a verdict of suicide.

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