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Police chief relives final moments of Stonebow fall man
10:30am Friday 1st June 2012 in News
October 2009 and police cordon off the area around The Stonebow after Colin Bluck threatened to jump off scaffolding
MEMBERS of emergency services involved in 26-hour negotiations with a man who fell from a city centre office block have described their attempts to save his life.
Colin Bluck, 42, took his own life following hours of police negotiations by stepping off scaffolding and plunging to the ground outside Stonebow House on October 27, 2009.
Mr Bluck had told police he was hearing voices in his head telling him to jump.
He had become unresponsive and appeared to be suffering from sleep deprivation in the moments before he fell from the scaffolding, York Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.
Det Chf Insp Heather Pearson, who negotiated with Mr Bluck, said he had been encouraged to climb back on to the platform with a coffee and cigarette but soon climbed back on to a pole and turned his back on her, causing her to move to another window in the building.
She said: “I had a conversation with him for about 20 minutes at that window and it was obvious he was deteriorating. While having the conversation with me he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, gave a half smile and stepped off the pole.
“There was no warning at all that he was going to do it. From the position where I was at the window, I had no means of trying to intervene.”
The court heard Mr Bluck had a history of mental health problems and suffered from alcoholism and paranoid schizophrenia.
Before arriving in York, he had travelled from his home in Barnsley to Scarborough where he had been arrested for his own safety after smashing a whisky bottle and threatening to harm himself.
Following a number of observations, a police medical officer made the decision to release him at about 9.10am on October 26, as he was sober and no longer appeared to be a danger to his own safety.
At about noon that day, Mr Bluck was found on scaffolding outside Stonebow House, where he remained until he fell at about 1.50pm the following day.
Mr Bluck told one officer he had stopped taking his medication as it was having an affect on his ability to try for another baby with his partner.
Deputy coroner Jonathan Leach found Mr Bluck took his own life, dying from multiple injuries.
He praised the efforts of police and said he was satisfied the police doctor made the correct decision in releasing Mr Bluck from custody.
Speaking after the inquest, Roy Alderson, the father of Mr Bluck’s partner, Gemma, said: “He is sadly missed. We would like to say thank-you to everyone involved in this investigation.”
• Anyone experiencing feelings of depression and contemplating suicide can phone York Samaritans 01904 655888.