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Grieving husband leapt to his death after he was unable to visit his wife's grave every day

John Cassidy jumped to his death after he could no longer visit his wife's grave everyday. Photo: MEN Media

A grieving widower leapt from a multi-storey car park to his death after he could no longer visit his wife’s grave every day.

Months before taking his own life, John Cassidy, 86, was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder - depression triggered by the loss of his wife of 50 years, Jean.

In the early hours of June 22 this year, he jumped from the first-storey of the car park at the Eden Square Shopping Complex in Urmston. He was found dead by a passer-by hours later, a coroner’s inquest heard.

At the time of Mr Cassidy’s death the retired HGV driver was unable to make daily visits to his wife’s grave because he had been forced to give up his driving licence.

Mr Cassidy, who lived in Urmston, had cared for his wife Jean before her death in 2014. Early last year he tried to take his own life with a medication overdose, but his daughter found him slumped in the kitchen and he had recovered in hospital.

He was diagnosed with an adjustment order - an adverse reaction to a life event - and sectioned under the Mental Health Act. But he was reluctant to accept help, and never attended the bereavement counselling sessions he was offered.

In February last year, the inquest heard, he was involved in a car accident, crashing into a parked van, breaking four ribs and fracturing his sternum.

Because of his earlier overdose it was feared that this had been done deliberately - but mental health staff were satisfied it had been an accident.

But following the crash Mr Cassidy, of Oakfield Court, had to surrender his driving licence - which made it difficult to visit his wife’s grave every day.

His daughter Bridget Fletcher, the eldest of six children, said: “I knew he would find that difficult, not being able to go every day.”

The court heard that Mr Cassidy also had a bad skin allergy that he initially feared was cancer.

It ended up being diagnosed as eczema - but he had remained concerned with it as prescribed creams failed to clear it up.

The week of his death, his daughter Bridget Fletcher had taken him to hospital as he was getting frustrated waiting for a dermatology appointment.

“He was in such a bad mood but I never dreamed that would be the last time I would see him. It came as a complete shock”, she said.

South Manchester Assistant Coroner Rachel Galloway recorded a conclusion that Mr Cassidy, who originally from Northern Ireland, had taken his own life.

A post mortem gave the cause of death as multiple injuries.

After the verdict, Mr Cassidy’s daughter Bridget Fletcher said: “They (mental health teams) did what they could - we are happy with the care he received. He was a hard-working, conscientious person. Anyone who spoke of him said how helpful he was.”