Tourist saw man step off the cliffs, inquest hears

A CHURCH-GOER who suffered from psychosis was seen to step off Beachy Head by a Canadian tourist, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Juniper, 32, took his life on July 8 and an inquest into his death has held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court last Thursday (January 5).

Coroner Catherine Palmer heard that Mr Juniper, who travelled to Eastbourne from his home at Honeysuckle Walk, Horsham, had suffered from his second psychotic episode shortly before his death.

He had been engaging with mental health specialists and the witnesses who attended court said that they were shocked to hear he had taken his life.

Richard Fraser, Mr Juniper’s consultant psychiatrist, said he knew him well.

“As a team we were very shocked by this.

“We hadn’t thought of him as someone who was at high risk of suicide,” said Mr Fraser.

“He was at high risk of self-neglect but not, we thought, suicide.”

The inquest heard Mr Juniper was a bright and intelligent man who had a strong Christian faith and was a regular member at his local church.

“When he became mentally unwell he would stop eating and drinking, shut himself off from society and refuse help.

However, shortly before his death he was taking his medication, engaging with mental health services and attending his job at the local council.

On July 8, Kevin Calhoun, who was visiting the country from Canada, was walking with his wife and friends along the Downs and saw Mr Juniper standing on the cliff edge.

He was about to alert his friends but before he had a chance he witnessed Mr Juniper jump.

A religious note, drawings and information about Beachy Head were found among Mr Juniper’s belonging.

His body was recovered by the coastguards.

Coroner Catherine Palmer recorded a verdict of suicide.