A YORK man who took his own life had suffered a loss of health after money was stolen from his bank account, an inquest has heard.

Ian Markham was 50 when he climbed over the safety railing on the city walls and fell about 40 feet to his death on November 6 last year.

An inquest heard Mr Markham was considered a vulnerable man with an IQ of about 63, with a history of mental health problems, and was well-known to support services in the city.

Speaking after the inquest Mr Markham's brother, Kevin, said: "He had so many people who looked after him and cared for him but wouldn't accept that, he thought he was just fixated, thought he was on his own and no-one cared for him. If he could have been at his funeral, he would have known the truth."

Coroner Jonathan Leach told the inquest Mr Markham, who had worked as a cleaner for more than 20 years, had suffered from increased anxiety and a decline in his mental health following the theft of money from his bank account in August and the death of 49-year-old Darren Shaun Brown at his Jubilee Terrace home on September 10. The inquest heard Mr Brown was unknown to Mr Markham, but a friend of a female friend, and both were arrested and later released on bail.

The inquest also heard statements from three visitors to York who were on the walls close to George Stephenson House when they saw Mr Markham climb over the safety railing and fall backwards from the walls to the road below at about 10.45am. Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at York Hospital.

Statements from mental health professionals and Mr Markham's GP revealed he had recently spent some time in Bootham Park Hospital, and earlier in the year had been taken to A&E after an overdose of over-the-counter pills.

A strong support network of medical and social services were supporting Mr Markham, and had been for some time, and he was not considered at short-term risk of suicide at the time of his death, though was considered a high long term risk of carrying out a suicidal act.

The inquest heard a serious incident review had been carried out into the support and care Mr Markham received, and while no shortfall was found, a series of recommendations had been put in place which meant services would liaise more closely in future, to ensure better communication between City of York Council, the health service and mental health carers.

Kevin said: "There was a really great send off for him at St Barnabas Church in Leeman Road. The vicar asked if we would have a send off for him because they were so affected by him.

"He had good care, you can tell that by how many people looked after him, but they just didn't close the loop and involve us. We're hoping they will get together more and talk to each other and involve families where possible as well. I'm not saying it would have changed anything at any point, but maybe if we could have been there... It's a lot of 'what ifs'."

The coroner's conclusion on hearing the evidence provided was that Mr Markham committed suicide.

*A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said no further action was being taken against the woman in connection with Mr Brown's death.

**If you are concerned about someone or have any thoughts about suicide, phone The Samaritans on 08457 909090.