Tributes have been paid to a devoted father who jumped to his death from the roof of Chesterfield College.
Paul Lowry, 45, of Bellhouse Lane, Staveley, was found in the car park of the Infirmary Road site on November 4 last year, Chesterfield coroners’ court heard today.
Mr Lowry, who worked as a health and safety officer at the college, was struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife, Hayley, in 2010 and the death of a close friend last September.
Shortly before his death, Mr Lowry – who had a history of depression but “hid his feelings” – sent text messages to a number of family and friends which suggested he was “going to go away”, the inquest heard.
He was found by college staff and declared dead at 6.40pm.
Post-mortem results concluded Mr Lowry died of multiple injuries.
A statement from Mr Lowry’s son which was read out in court said: “He was a loving father.
“He was struggling to come to terms with Hayley’s death and then a friend’s death seemed to drag him back down.
“He always reassured me he was OK – he hid his feelings.
“I last spoke to him on November 3 and he seemed perfectly normal.”
One of his friends, Suzanne Bulmer, told the hearing: “He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.
“He loved his children to bits.”
Coroner James Newman said: “I never knew Mr Lowry but he seemed to be a family oriented man who was extremely close to his friends.
“His death will leave a massive hole in many people’s lives.
“He was described as happy but he hid his feelings – he didn’t want to worry his friends and family.”
Mr Newman ruled Mr Lowry took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.
Following his death, Stuart Cutforth, principal at Chesterfield College, described Mr Lowry as a “kind, popular and highly-valued person who will be sorely missed”.
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