A MAN who feared he had lost his job jumped off County Hall, an inquest heard.

Peter Hart, 42, of Coval Lane, Chelmsford, jumped off a balcony on the fourth floor of County Hall, on June 27 this year.

Mr Hart, a senior finance assistant for Essex County Council, had previously been a patient at a psychiatric unit and had been treated for anxiety problems and self harm.

Coroner's officer John Pheby, told the court Mr Hart feared his work was not good enough and that he would lose his job, following staff restructuring at the council.

The night before his death, Mr Hart told his wife Joanne of his concerns.

Mrs Hart said he had been worried about a letter from the county council, which explained he had to reapply for his position, and was free to attend other interviews, though no decisions on redundancies had been made.

She said: "He thought his job was at jeopardy, he was aware there were going to be possible job losses and saw things black and white, which is when he went downhill."

She and Mr Hart, who was an accomplished piano player, wrote down a list of his achievements together, but she later discovered he had added what he thought were his failures.

Mr Hart had recently taken accountancy exams, which Mrs Hart said caused him a lot of concern, though after his death it was revealed he had passed them.

After leaving home on June 27, the couple arranged to have lunch as usual, after Mr Hart had reassured Joanne of his state of mind.

Eye-witness Benjamin Collins was standing around two metres apart from Mr Hart shortly before he jumped.

Mr Collins said: "My attention was drawn to him because he was climbing on the wall.

"From the corner of my eye I saw a flash of blue blazer jacket, and that's when I saw Mr Hart stand on the wall.

"I looked at him and he looked directly at me, then he jumped. He had an anxious look, determined, but scared and confused."

Mr Hart was confirmed as dead at the scene.

Susan Stock, his work supervisor, said there were no problems with his performance, and he was well-liked, though she knew he had some personal issues.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be multiple fractures caused by a fall from a height, and deputy assistant coroner Chinyere Inyama recorded a verdict of suicide.

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