Steelworker 'threw himself off top of tower block' - inquest

A DEBT-LADEN Sheffield steelworker threw himself from the top of a tower block after he was put on short hours at work, an inquest heard.

Kevin William Maw, a 53-year-old turner at a steel plant in Meadowhall, was told in January that he was to go on to a four-day shift pattern, and would also lose his Saturday morning shift and all overtime.

The Sheffield inquest heard the dad-of-two lay awake for nights in a row worrying about how he would meet his mortgage repayments, and pay off up to 40,000 of credit-card debt.

He was seen by mental health specialists at the Killamarsh Medical Centre and the Chesterfield Crisis Resolution team.

By July he was diagnosed with reactive depression and prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets.

Lesley Maw, his wife of 30 years, told the court that in the week before his death he "seemed much brighter". The couple had even made plans to celebrate both their birthdays with his mother.

But early on the morning of Saturday July 18 - when his two children were in bed and his wife was at work - Mr Maw left his home on Aspen Close, Killamarsh, and drove to Hillsborough.

The court heard he was found with severe head injuries at the bottom of the nine-storey Regent Court Flats. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Mrs Maw said she had only become aware the family had financial problems when her husband collapsed at a football match in April and was taken to hospital.

She said he was convinced they would lose their house, and would lie awake "for days and days" thinking about it.

But she said the fact he left no note suggested he had not planned to take his own life.

Assistant deputy coroner Donald Coutts-Wood said Mr Maw had driven to an area where nobody knew him at a time when few people were about, which led him to his verdict that he had taken his own life.