A woman who plunged to her death from a walkway at Castle Market was consumed by a ‘dark cloud’ of depression, an inquest heard.
Susan Ward, aged 66, of Thornbridge Drive, Frecheville, died of multiple injuries after jumping from the gallery walkway above Waingate.
The retired cleaner had caught a bus to the market and brought a bag with her containing a step, which she used as she climbed over the railings.
Det Sgt Graham Stead told Sheffield Coroner’s Court that police had used CCTV footage to piece together the events which led to Mrs Ward’s death on May 10 last year.
He said: “She walks across the gallery, places her bag down and takes from the bag what we believe to be a small step.
“Then we see Susan climbing to the outer side of the railing. The figure passes and it appears to be passing downwards.”
The inquest heard Mrs Ward had been suffering from depression, which she had described as ‘a dark cloud following her’.
After taking an overdose in January 2013, she had voluntarily become an inpatient on a mental health ward and remained there until March.
At later check-ups, she told nurses she was feeling anxious and was not sleeping or eating properly – but she was not having urges to harm herself.
Coroner Chris Dorries said her death must have been a ‘terrible shock’ for her husband and family.
A pathology report found Mrs Ward had a benign tumour on the covering of the brain and an overactive thyroid. Both of these may have caused her to feel anxious and depressed.
Mr Dorries recorded a verdict that Mrs Ward took her own life.