Inquest hears Keith Laidler intended to take own life, but no reasons given

Keith Laidler

Keith Laidler

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

MYSTERY surrounds the reason why a Southampton man leapt to his death from a bridge in the city, an inquest heard.

Former communications worker Keith Laidler, 59, jumped off the Itchen Bridge in full view of passing motorists and died instantly after landing in a car park below.

Mr Laidler left a note stating he intended to take his own life but did not give a reason, the inquest was told.

Gordon Denson, deputy coroner for Southampton, read a letter from the city’s Alma Medical Centre, where Mr Laidler was a patient.

It said he had a long history of drug dependency and had been taking a daily dose of methadone for several years.

Detective Sergeant William Whales, of Bitterne police station, was called to the scene after Mr Laidler jumped to his death on February 7.

He said: “He was seen climbing on to the bridge parapet, where he sat for a short time with his legs dangling over the edge.

“Several people called the police but there was no chance for anyone to save Mr Laidler, who clearly intended to take his own life.”

Det Sgt Whales said police carried out CPR on Mr Laidler after he jumped but he would have died instantly.

Police searched his flat in Oxford Avenue, Southampton, and discovered that he had “made preparations for his life to conclude”.

Officers found a note telling them who should be informed of his death, but there was no evidence of any issue in his life that might explain his decision to kill himself, the inquest heard.

Mr Denson said a post-mortem examination showed that Mr Laidler died of multiple injuries.

He added: “He was not suffering from any ailment or disease that might have caused him to take the action that he did. No alcohol was detected in his system and toxicology tests proved negative.

“But it’s clear from the evidence, the note and the way he effectively left his house in order that he intended to do what he did.”

Mr Denson recorded a verdict of suicide.

Shortly after Mr Laidler died his family issued a statement in which they described him as “one of the kindest men you could ever meet”.

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