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53-year-old Phillip Marshall, from Folkestone, delivered notes to sister and nephew just moments before jumping from Foord Road viaduct

By Vicky Castle

A “troubled” man warned police and delivered suicide notes to his sister and nephew moments before jumping to his death, an inquest heard.

Phillip Marshall, 53, died after falling from the viaduct in Foord Road South, Folkestone, on Monday, May 12.

His nephew Wayne Conyers said his uncle had attempted to get support after he struggled with the break-up of his marriage but he said that Mr Marshall, who was homeless at the time of his death, felt he had been let down by numerous mental health services.

Flowers and tributes left to Phillip Marshall at the Foord Road viaduct
Flowers and tributes left to Phillip Marshall at the Foord Road viaduct

Mr Conyers said: “He wasn’t crazy, he was well controlled but his behaviour could change quickly. He was never aggressive, just troubled.”

Emergency services hurried to the viaduct at about 11.30pm after receiving reports about a man at the top.

"He was warning the police to close the road as he was concerned about passing vehicles or causing distress to anyone passing by." DS Stuart Ward

Mr Conyers had contacted police after his wife found two hand-delivered letters from Mr Marshall saying he was going to take his life.

Det Sgt Stuart Ward, who conducted the investigation, told the inquest at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court that Mr Marshall had then called police himself.

DS Ward said: “Mr Marshall had walked along the central railway line to the point where he jumped.

“He contacted police on his mobile and said his intention was to take his own life.

“He was warning the police to close the road as he was concerned about passing vehicles or causing distress to anyone passing by.

“A police officer spoke to him over the phone and asked him to come down.

“He just repeated that he wanted police to close the road to prevent him from harming other people.

“Then moments later, a number of officers said they saw a figure drop from the viaduct.”

Mr Marshall had previously worked in the ferry industry and with Eurotunnel.

Mr Marshall called police to close the road
Mr Marshall called police to close the road

Pathologist Dr Salim Anjarwalla said the report showed no evidence of any alcohol or drugs in his system that might have affected his decisions.

Mr Conyers added: “The letters he sent to me and my mum were a goodbye but they were also an ‘I’m sorry’.

“He knew what he was doing that night.”

Tina Freedman, central and South East Kent assistant coroner, concluded that Mr Marshall took his own life.

She said: “I think it is noteworthy that despite his troubles he was a considerate man in thinking about others who might be affected by him taking such a step by asking police to close the road.”

If you would like confidential support on an emotional issue call Samaritans on 08457 909090 at any time.


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