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Superman’ tried to save suicide jumper

PUBLISHED: 16:06 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:16 12 August 2010

A MAN dressed as superman tried to save another man from leaping to his death, an inquest heard. Professional fundraiser Tarryn Sparkes, 22, desperately tired to stop Derrick Hill from jumping off the multi-storey car park but failed. Mr Hill died inst

A MAN dressed as superman tried to save another man from leaping to his death, an inquest heard.

Professional fundraiser Tarryn Sparkes, 22, desperately tired to stop Derrick Hill from jumping off the multi-storey car park but failed.

Mr Hill died instantly from the 60ft fall on to concrete on August 15 last year, the Croydon inquest heard last Thursday.

The bizarre meeting took place as Mr Sparkes of Woodbury Park, Axminster, Devon, returned to his car on the top floor of what was Marks and Spencer's car park in Orpington, after he had taken part in an event for Activate, the children's charity.

Mr Sparkes said: "I was going to take off my costume when I saw a man standing around. He looked over the edge. He looked over the top of the 4ft. high wall and said: 'I want to jump'. I thought he was joking."

Mr Hill began climbing the wall. Mr Sparkes added: "I said I would help him back down and he replied; 'Why?' He carried on climbing and I put my hand on his shoulder. A woman was driving past and I asked her to call the police." He tried to keep Mr Hill, of Holmcroft Way, Bromley, talking but received little response until a few minutes later two community police officers came running to the scene. Mr Hill turned round startled but then lowered himself by his fingers and let go. Mr Sparkes added: "I was angry. I felt as if I could have saved him."

Recording a suicide verdict, Coroner Dr Roy Palmer said that PCSOs were not fully trained police officers. A doctor's report said Mr Hill had been suffering from depression, poor concentration and a loss of energy.


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