Tribute paid to family man who took his own life

Eastbourne Town Hall
Eastbourne Town Hall

Tributes have been paid to a 56-year-old man who took his own life as he feared he would lose his sight.

An inquest at Eastbourne this week heard Brendan Kelly suffered severe anxiety and depression and was convinced he would go blind after having eye problems.

His body was found at the foot of cliffs at Beachy Head on a Friday afternoon in January.

The inquest heard Mr Kelly, an electrical engineer, had travelled to Eastbourne by train from his home in Coventry. He was spotted on the clifftop by Annie Cushing from the Beachy Head Chaplaincy team, but she was unable to catch him up and saw him vanish from sight.

Mr Kelly’s wife of 32 years, Cheryl, said his death had left a devastating void in her family’s life.

”He was a kind, generous and humorous person,” said Mrs Kelly, “the life and soul of the party who made everyone feel special. He was hard working and very family orientated.”

Mrs Kelly said in the months before her husband’s death he had made several suicide attempts but mental health professionals had been led to believe he was not a danger to himself and he had not taken prescribed medication.

She said, “Brendan was very unwell, mentally and physically and we felt extremely lost and unsupported at the lack of assistance to us as a family by the mental health team.”

A verdict of suicide was recorded.