Took own life in bridge plunge

A NEW MILLS man who plunged to his death from a railway bridge left a note blaming his demise on mistakes at work.

Financial controller Richard Dalton lost his full-time job at Marple plant equipment company Colin Wild Ltd around last Christmas because of the economic downturn.

He continued helping out, business picked up and he was told shortly before his death he would be reinstated.

An inquest heard that he had earlier made a mistake by under-insuring a vehicle in which Mr Wild’s partner was involved in an accident.

His boss did not hold the error against him but it preyed on his mind.

Mr Dalton died from multiple injuries after jumping off railings onto a track at The Torrs in New Mills on February 1.

Police found a note in his pocket, stating: “Do not resuscitate” and asking for his brothers to be informed.

Police found another note at his Dyehouse Lane home which read: “One more mistake. I have totally screwed up everything and have to end it here.”

The message asked Mr Wild to remember him for the things he did right.

Mr Wild told police he was a very good employee, totally trustworthy and reliable, adding: “He was loyal to me to the end.”

Anne Towse was walking to a hair salon when she saw a man climb onto railings, hold his arms out “like wings” and, without hesitation, fall forwards.

She went to the nearby Queens Arms to ask someone to call emergency services and Keith Berry slid down an embankment and tried to resuscitate Mr Dalton, 55.

Police and paramedics arrived and took over but he died at the scene. Post-mortem tests found no drink or drugs in his system.

Younger brother Stephen Dalton, a tutor, told the Chesterfield inquest he seemed worried about his future after losing his job.

He was told on January 30 his brother had tried to hang himself a fortnight earlier but the cable snapped.

He felt his brother was in a positive mood after visiting him on January 31 but was told the next day he had committed suicide.

Older brother Philip Dalton said worries about money in retirement appeared to be dispelled by getting his job back

He added: “The irony was that he wasn’t short of money. He had more than Stephen and myself put together and we don’t consider ourselves badly off. He had £30,000 cash in the bank.”

Mr Dalton told his GP on January 21 he had thought about suicide but had no intention of harming himself. He didn’t feel he needed anti-depressants and agreed to return to the surgery within a fortnight if his mood deteriorated.

Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson recorded a verdict that Mr Dalton, a single man, took his own life.

“He seems to have made mountains out of molehills in his own mind. He was a bit depressed and things got on top of him,” said Mr Anderson.

“He was clearly suffering from some form of paranoia, even if in a minor sense.

“Small matters were out of proportion in his mind but not such that he sought psychiatric help.”