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Charity worker died in plunge at tower block

PUBLISHED: 15:20 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 16 August 2010

A children s charity worker who jumped to his death from a tower block was suffering from depression, an inquest has heard. Stephen Wilson, 51, from Orpington, had been prescribed anti-depressants by his GP just weeks before he plunged to his death from

A children's charity worker who jumped to his death from a tower block was suffering from depression, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Wilson, 51, from Orpington, had been prescribed anti-depressants by his GP just weeks before he plunged to his death from the building in Islington, north London, at 2.30pm on April 17.

He had admitted to having thoughts of hurting himself and had a history of depression dating back to 2002.

Mr Wilson, a human resources director, was a keen churchgoer and had worked at Christian charity The Children's Society for 27 years.

Detective Constable Martin Slattery told a St Pancras inquest police received a call to say something had been seen falling from a tower block. "We never established which floor he fell from but we suspect it was a high level due to the damage to the body," he added. "It could have been the 13th floor."

Earlier the inquest heard how Mr Wilson had arrived two hours late for work looking "flustered".

A female colleague told police they had gone for a cigarette at 1pm before Mr Wilson said "take care of yourself" and "spent an unusual amount of time looking at her before walking off".

He died 90 minutes later, after leaping from a high-rise tower block half a mile from his work that had no security doors.

No suicide note was left at the scene but police found several books on depression at his home.

Coroner Dr Andrew Reid said: "He voluntarily and deliberately walked to the building and entered and climbed to a high level where he jumped. The injuries are such he's fallen from a height consistent with at least 13 storeys.

"I cannot be persuaded this was a cry for help or an act of misadventure."

A tribute posted on The Children's Society website said: "Stephen worked for The Children's Society for 27 years, man and boy.

"He was a one-off, immensely liked and enormously respected. Extraordinarily gentle with others, he touched an enormous number of lives - someone who was a loyal friend to many in the organisation and to The Children's Society itself."

Verdict: suicide.

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