A ‘bright and intelligent’ 21-year-old man died after falling from a motorway bridge near Bristol earlier this year, an inquest heard today.
Coree Caswell, 21, of Portway, Shirehampton, died on Monday, April 1, 2019, after leaving a note for his ‘best friend’ just hours before taking his own life, Avon Coroners’ Court heard today.
Assistant coroner Myfanwy Buckeridge concluded, despite the warehouse worker’s lack of history of mental health concerns, Mr Caswell had intended to take his own life on May 1.
Evidence from Mr Caswell’s friend, Daniel Sweet, was read at the inquest. He said: “I have known Coree for about seven years and we met at the Oasis Academy, where we went to school.
“I saw him once or twice a week, and he was my best friend.”
The court heard how Mr Caswell would confide in Mr Sweet, especially after his relationship with his girlfriend of three years had come to an end, and Mr Sweet had suggested that they do something together, such as go for a run, to occupy his mind.
Although he had been recpetive to the idea, Mr Sweet explained, he had never taken him up on the offer.
“I told him that he needed to go to the doctor to see if they could recommend any medication.
“He messaged me that morning [April 1] that the appointment was for today, but he told me that he never went.”
Mr Sweet also messaged Mr Caswell that morning to see if he had his bike pump. Mr Caswell told him he had it and would bring it round, and Mr Sweet told him that it ‘didn’t matter’, and just wanted to know where it was.
That afternoon, Mr Sweet returned from work to find his bike pump and an envelope in the letter box. The envelope contained a note from Mr Caswell, in which he said that ‘he couldn’t go on any more’.
Worried about his friend’s welfare, Mr Sweet ran to his girlfriend’s house in order to tell her what had happened and to return a key, before setting out for a nearby bridge that he knew people had taken their lives at in the past.
He saw a man running in the other direction who told him that somebody had ‘jumped’ from the bridge, and further along saw a small crowd of people looking over the railing.
“I recognised him instantly,” Mr Sweet said, describing the moment he looked over the bridge.
PC Michael McDonald was driving with four trainee police officers shortly after 4pm that afternoon, when both he and his passengers saw a figure in dark clothing walking along the edge of the bridge. He pulled over at the earliest opportunity and they exited the car and ran towards where they had seen the man.
Sadly, by the time they reached the point on the bridge Mr Caswell had already fallen.
Mr McDonald said: “Even from there he looked very pale. I believe his eyes were partially open, and my immediate thought was that he was already dead.”
The court heard how Mr Caswell had not been to see his GP since 2008, and had never been in contact with any mental health services, nor shown any sign of needing support.
Mr Caswell’s mother’s partner David Mothersdale described him as a ‘bright and intelligent 21-year-old from a strong family background’, who was ‘extremely well regarded by his friends and had a very wide and diverse friendship group’.
Mr Mothersdale went on to say that ‘he had never shown any sign that he had thought of taking his own life’.
What can you do if you feel you are in crisis?
Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand.
These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness.
These feelings do improve and can be treated.
If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.