Man plunged from Chesterfield car park after being diagnosed with cancer

Chesterfield coroners' court.
Chesterfield coroners' court.
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A man who plunged to his death from the top of a car park had recently been diagnosed with cancer and could not face the prospect of treatment, an inquest heard.

Michele De Angelis, 56, intended to take his own life when he fell from the seventh floor of the multi-storey car park in Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, last summer.

Tributes were paid to Mr De Angelis, who was better known as Michael, during his inquest at Chesterfield coroners’ court on Tuesday.

The court heard Italian-born Mr De Angelis, of Nightingale Close, Chesterfield, made a failed suicide attempt in the early hours of Monday, August 11 before driving to the top of the car park just after 7am.

A member of public saw Mr De Angelis and alerted car park staff who informed police. Police Sergeant Simon Cartwright, of Derbyshire Constabulary, attended the incident.

He told the court: “I asked him what he intended to do and he said he had every intention of killing himself.

“Within a minute of talking to him I knew how serious the situation was.”

Mr De Angelis explained to PS Cartwright how he had been diagnosed with cancer within the last few weeks and was expecting to undergo major surgery.

PS Cartwright said: “He told me he had a number of friends and family who had suffered from cancer.

“He said he wouldn’t be beaten by cancer and wanted to decide his own fate.

“He also said he hadn’t told his family he had cancer because he didn’t want them to come over from Italy to care for him – he didn’t want to be a burden to them.

“I kept telling him to come down and I thought he might but he said ‘just give me a while – it’s a big deal’.”

PS Cartwright left the incident when specially trained negotiators arrived.

Coroner James Newman commended PS Cartwright for his professionalism and compassion on that day.

Mr De Angelis – who had sent letters to friends and family before taking his own life – was pronounced dead at 1.50pm. Post-mortem tests revealed he died from multiple injuries.

Janice Agutter, who had been in a relationship with Mr De Angelis, told the court: “He was very caring. I last saw him on August 4 and he didn’t say anything about his cancer. I just wish he’d spoken about it – he wouldn’t have been a burden to anyone.”

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