A SUICIDAL mental health patient threw himself to his death from a Worcester bridge after previous attempts on his life.

Martin Portman jumped off the city’s Carrington Bridge into the Severn and hit a wooden dock, an inquest in Stourport was told yesterday.

The 47-year-old of Barneshall Avenue, off Bath Road, Worcester, who jumped off the bridge on September 27 last year, was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and pronounced dead the same evening.

An autopsy revealed he had died from multiple injuries.

Charles Eden was driving to Malvern from Worcester when he encountered heavy traffic at the bridge and realised there was a man on the parapet wearing what appeared to be swimming trunks.

He said: “I wound down the window and I said rather limply, ‘Are you all right mate?’ He did catch my eye. I felt my words were a prompt to carry on and do what he did.

“I suddenly realised he was gone. I suppose I waited to hear a splash. But it was a rather hollow, dry sound. I looked over and realised that he must have landed on a wooden, floating dock.”

Mr Eden went down to the river where he saw the man face down in the water. He followed three men, all about 20 years of age, and an off-duty paramedic and between them they hauled Mr Portman out.

Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams commended all the men for their bravery.

The paramedic tried to resuscitate Mr Portman before the emergency services arrived.

The hearing was addressed by four psychiatrists and a community psychiatric nurse all of whom said there was no identifiable mental illness such as bi-polar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia or depression even though they acknowledged Mr Portman was a suicide risk.

Mr Portman had made four “serious attempts at self-harm or suicide” in the nine months before his death, including falling or throwing himself from the second floor of Worcestershire Royal Hospital and perching on a parapet of a bridge on Christmas Day 2009.

He had been detained several times, twice for a 28-day period and once for up to six months and had spent time in the psychiatric intensive care unit (Hadley Unit) in Worcester, Newtown Hospital and Harvington ward in Kidderminster.

Unemployed Mr Portman had mentioned problems with access to his son and concerns about the health of his father but clinical experts agreed that he did not discuss personal issues in detail.

Dr Karim Rajput, a consultant psychiatrist, said: “He wouldn’t open up. It’s very difficult to offer someone help when they’re not willing or wanting to accept it.”

The psychiatrists agreed there was a general lack of engagement from Mr Portman and that he disliked being detained and taking medication.

Dr Richard Crellin, another consultant psychiatrist, said: “He was terrified of being drawn into a system of being given medication against his will.”

Mr Williams said mental health staff had been “professional and compassionate” towards Mr Portman but that this therapeutic relationship could not be forced.

He said: “There was a nine-month period of extremely serious attempts at killing himself.”

He recorded a verdict that Mr Portman killed himself.

After the hearing, Mr Portman’s father Donald said: “It’s just a damn pity that should happen to a man of 47.”