A SWINDON man couldn’t prevent his fall from a multi-storey car park, an inquest heard.

Depressed Paul Griffin, 42, of Florence Street, Gorse Hill, positioned himself on the edge of a wall on top of the Carlton Car Park in Carfax Street in the town centre.

The father-of-two, a former driver for Pewsey Vale Coaches, fell the equivalent of four floors to his death, ending up on his back.

A passing doctor, Gavin Jamie, tried to resuscitate Mr Griffin, who weighed 18-stone, had no pulse and was not breathing. He died just after 7pm on June 23, last year.

At the inquest, PC Andrew Alexander from Swindon Police, who was called to the scene following a report of a man on top of the car park, had tried to talk to Paul and coax him away from the “precarious” edge.

“It was a one-sided conversation – he was not engaging,” said PC Alexander, who was six metres away from Mr Griffin.

“I was trying to get his attention, but he wasn’t answering any of my questions.

“I formed an opinion very quickly there was serious intent to jump, but now I’m not so sure. He slipped off the wall and stopped himself. Then his grip broke and he fell.”

Acting police sergeant Madeleine Tarplee, who was 15ft away from Mr Griffin, formed a different opinion to her colleague.

She said: “My view is that he was moving to position himself and was turning to go backwards.”

Fiancee Julie Mason, who was due to marry Mr Griffin in December last year, called him on his mobile phone as he perched on the wall not much wider than a piece of wood.

“He told me: ‘I’d be better off if I wasn’t here’,” said Ms Mason.

“I could tell he’d been drinking. His speech was slurry.

“But I never thought he would do anything until it happened. It came as a shock to me. I still think if he hadn’t been drinking he’d still be here today.”

Mr Griffin, who had boys Luke and Toby from a marriage which broke down, had a long history of depression and had taken multiple drug overdoses stretching back to the early 1990s.

He was facing three separate criminal proceedings at the time of his death, which included charges for an assault and dangerous driving, as well as for non-payment of council tax.

Mr Griffin’s GP, Simon Downdeswell, said in his statement: “He (Mr Griffin) saw his life as a series of failures and suffered with relationship problems.”

It went on to say Mr Griffin had contact with the Swindon Mental Health Crisis and Home Treatment Team, but there was no indication of self harm.

The post-mortem examination, carried out by pathologist Lawrence John at the Great Western Hospital, showed that Mr Griffin was almost three times over the drink-drive limit at the time of his death, reported as being caused by multiple injuries.

Peter Hatvany, the deputy coroner for Swindon and Wiltshire, said: “It was the alcohol that was calling the shots.”

He recorded a verdict of death through misadventure.