A YOUNG dad jumped to his death from the Itchen Bridge after a row with his girlfriend, an inquest heard.

Christopher Spikesman, of no fixed abode, fell into the River Itchen in Southampton, after police desperately tried to coax him to safety.

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Echo, a major search and rescue operation to find the 27- year-old failed and his remains were discovered washed up on Weston Shore a year later.

A Southampton inquest heard how the dad of two got into an argument with his partner Francesca Place on January 7 last year after concerns he was seeing another woman.

PC Kevin Darvill told the inquest how the warehouse worker told his girlfriend “if you want me to jump off the bridge look me in the eyes and I will do it”.

Police were called to the bridge at around 6pm after members of the public saw him standing on the edge.

Before jumping he told them to tell Francesca that he had kept his word.

He fell into the water and was seen splashing around before he disappeared from view.

Officers only found his trainers and beanie hat after searching and dredging the Woolston Shore and surrounding land. A note was later found at a home in Albion Towers indicating he intended to take his own life.

The inquest heard how his badly decomposed remains and track suit trousers, were found on December 8 close to the yacht club at Weston Shore.

Police contacted Francesca after searching missing persons’ records and she identified a photograph of an 11- month-old boy found in his clothing as their three-yearold son.

An autopsy by Dr Basil Purdue, read to the inquest, revealed no signs of injury and the decay was consistent with “immersion in seawater for a year”.

A report by DNA specialist Jessica Adby revealed that samples taken from the remains of his leg indicated a one in 4,000 probability that it was not him.

PC Darvill also denied speculation that Mr Spikesman had faked his own death to move abroad after previous sightings of him proved unfounded and international investigation teams found no evidence of him moving away.

Southampton Coroner Keith Wiseman said the child’s photograph showed “overwhelming”

evidence the remains were those of Mr Spikesman.

Recording a suicide determination, he said: “The combination of these facts leaves me no doubt that he deliberately took his own life.”