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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Mum who jumped from Carlisle bridge tormented by pain, inquest told

A mum of three became so frustrated with the medical treatment she was receiving for chronic back pain that she jumped to her death from a Carlisle bridge.

Jeanette Cort photo
Jeanette Cort

Jeanette Cort plunged 40ft from Victoria Viaduct onto English Damside on June 23 last year, an inquest into her death heard.

The 29-year-old, who lived at Glenridding, near Penrith, had suffered from a catalogue of ailments including lower back pain, ankle problems, tremors, abdominal pain and sleep apnea.

But, despite numerous visits to her GP and an admission to the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, shortly before her death, medics had failed to find an explanation.

Ms Cort, mother to boys aged 12, 10 and eight, became convinced that doctors thought the pain was “in her head” and had become “miserable and angry”.

Her GP Jonathan Smith at Glenridding Health Centre told the inquest that he had a “trusting relationship” with Ms Cort.

I always take patients’ complaints seriously,” he told the hearing.

On the morning of her death her ex-partner Lawrence Sanderson had visited to check on her and said nothing in her behaviour had suggested she might kill herself.

She later left the house and got a bus to Penrith then a train to Carlisle before walking to Victoria Viaduct where she climbed over a stone wall and crouched, clinging on to railings.

Postman Christopher Gouge was walking across the bridge when he saw her and dashed across the road to try to talk her round.

“I got to her and said: ‘What are you doing?’,” he told the hearing. “I said: ‘Don’t be silly, come back over.

“She didn’t respond to anything I said.”

He added: “I asked if she could hear me and she nodded. I then said: ‘You don’t want to do this’.

“She just nodded her head vigorously.

“There was nothing I could do beyond talking to her, I couldn’t grab her because the holes in the railings were too small.

“I looked into her eyes and I could see from the way she was breathing heavily, she was psyching herself up to do it. I couldn’t watch her drop. I turned just slightly and the next thing, I heard a big bang.”

Recording a verdict of suicide, north Cumbria coroner David Roberts said: “I am satisfied that she deliberately climbed on to the wrong side of the bridge and deliberately let go.”

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