Suicide Dad Unable to Pay Child Support
Approximates 300 fathers
commit suicide in the U.S. each month as a result of the cruel and abusive
DEVIZES sales manager Michael Parson who rolled himself over the edge of a cliff on July 30 was struggling to pay child support, an inquest heard on Tuesday.
Mr Parsons, 41, appeared to be sleeping on the cliff edge near Swanage in Dorset when he was woken up by a walker closing a gate on the coastal path.
He then rolled over twice and fell more than 360ft without making a sound.
Police found two carrier bags on the cliff top near Swanage with a third-full bottle of whisky and a packet of paracetamol tablets with four left.
They also discovered suicide notes in his Mercedes car.
Mr Parsons lived with his partner and her two children at Fruitfields Close, Drews Pond, Devizes. The four-bedroom detached house is currently for sale and empty.
Detective Constable Patrick Donnelly of Dorset police said officers later found letters from various companies demanding money for various outstanding loans at Mr Parson's house. He paid a third of his income to the Child Support Agency, and also had a mortgage and repayments to meet on his car.
Mr Parsons, a sales manager with Devizes agricultural machinery firm Lister Wilder, also owed money to a friend and he had recently defaulted on his repayments.
Lorraine Ray, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his 15-year-old daughter Sian, who lives near Salisbury, said: "I tried to speak to them. I said He has got to live. I have got to live,' but you know what these people are like."
Lyn Crossman from Gloucestershire saw Mr Parsons sleeping six-foot from the cliff edge.
She said in a statement read out to the inquest: "The male appeared to me to be sleeping. My first thought was what a bloody stupid place to fall asleep.
"As I opened the gate it made a large clicking sound. The male seemed to wake up and had a surprised look on his face like someone who has been woken suddenly. He rolled over twice and then disappeared over the cliff."
Pathologist Katie Boyd said his blood alcohol reading was just under the legal limit for driving.
The cause of death was given as traumatic damage to multiple organs consistent with a fall from a height.
Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a suicide verdict and said: "It was quite clear he intended to take his own life."
Darryl Westell, spokesman for Fathers 4 Justice, said: "This man was obviously in financial difficulty which was a sure sign he was being hounded by the CSA for money he didn't have. It's just a typical tactic of family law, completely unsympathetic towards families in emotional distress. Many divorced parents, mainly fathers, are fighting to keep themselves afloat after separation."