Published: 00:01, 03 September 2016
The stress of a lifetime shouldering other people’s burdens eventually took its toll on a former minister who threw himself off the M2 bridge.
Resham Singh Bindra, known as Ray, was happily married to his wife Janet for 37 years and had three children.
He built up the congregation of his church and was so well loved that around 1,000 people attended his funeral.
But the 64-year-old struggled with depression for 12 years. After other suicide attempts, he jumped from the Medway motorway bridge without hesitation, an inquest heard.
Speaking afterwards, Mrs Bindra said: “He dedicated his life to the church. He was such an influence on people, he visited the lonely and looked after the homeless.
"He helped others who were mentally ill and even took people who were struggling into his own home to keep them out of hospital and give them constant support.
“He buddied them and would be up all night praying with them.
“He was a fantastic pastor. On one occasion when a young girl had been in a car crash he stayed at the hospital with her mum for nine hours all through the night until she passed away.
“He was a man of God, but suffered terribly because of the stress and strain of putting so much care into others. He was a workaholic. He gave himself over to the people.
“That fact that he committed suicide the way he did does not negate all the wonderful things he did.”
Giving evidence during the inquest at the Archbishop’s Palace, Maidstone, Mrs Bindra said after a brief spell of wellness, Mr Bindra’s behaviour began to change in 2015.
His GP, community mental health team and crisis team all became more involved in his care and his medication was increased. The family also turned to the church for extra support.
His suicide attempts began in January this year, when he tried to hang himself. After that he started to take drives to the M2 bridge.
The court heard he had confessed that he considered jumping off, but “didn’t have the courage” and did not wish to leave his family.
But on May 21 he drove along the M2 and at around 10.15am, he stopped. Passing highways officers saw him, and in a written statement, said he climbed over the barrier and jumped without a pause.
“He dedicated his life to the church. He was such an influence on people, he visited the lonely and looked after the homeless" - Janet Bindra
A postmortem revealed he died due to the impact of the fall. There was no alcohol or drugs in his system.
Mrs Bindra also thanked the emergency services who tried to revive Mr Bindra at the scene, near Cuxton Marina.
Assistant coroner Katrina Hepburn heard that Mr Bindra took early retirement from his job at Emmanuel Pentecostal Church in Dartford because of ongoing mental health issues. She recorded a verdict of suicide.
Speaking after the verdict, Mrs Bindra said: “We were very close, we had a wonderful marriage. We confided in each other and talked things through.
"But his medication didn’t seem to help and mental health issues take a long time to heal. He was really in a dark place, but whatever his mood he was always a very gentle man.”
Mr and Mrs Bindra had grown-up children, Claire, Jane and Simon, and three grandchildren.
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