Father with new job on the horizon took his life in New Year's Day car park fall

Sandwell | News | Published:

A father of two with a 'heart of gold' and a new job on the horizon died when he fell from the fifth floor of a Wolverhampton multi-storey car park on New Year's Day, an inquest heard.

Paul Lavender, 42, from Whitmore Street, Wolverhampton, committed suicide on January 1 following the break-down of his marriage, which resulted in restricted access to his two biological children and a third child he helped raise with his partner.

Emergency services were called to the House of Fraser car park on Skinner Street, Wolverhampton, at around 7.20pm on January 1 to find Mr Lavender, who was born in Walsall, in the street.

An inquest held at Sandwell Coroners Court revealed that Mr Lavender was registered as a paranoid schizophrenic, but he had managed to find regular work as a graphic designer, securing a job in Derby set to start the week after his death.

The inquest also heard that he had made no indication of his plans to mental health professionals.

Delivering a verdict of suicide, senior Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique said: "This young man took his own life and I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to his family. It is a tragic set of circumstances and a tragic waste of a life.

"He has been described by his parents as a very intelligent and creative man with a good sense of humour who loved his children very much.

"They also said he had a heart of gold and would help anybody.

"He had suffered from mental health issues for a while and following a relationship break-down and constraints involving contact with his children this worsened.


"However, there was no indication that he was having suicidal thoughts or had any intention to self harm.

"He had been looking forward to starting a new job and seemed to have been working to get over the breakdown of his marriage."

In 2011, panic buttons for people considering committing suicide were installed at the car park following the death of a 57-year-old woman, who fell from the sixth floor.

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