Man jumped from ferry to his death in front of screaming passengers after partner left him for someo
A port worker who never got over the breakdown of his 25-year relationship deliberately jumped to his death from a ferry in front of screaming passengers, an inquest has heard.
Alan Stafford leapt from the St Cecilia Wightlink ferry between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight in August last year.
A Hampshire coroner was told on Tuesday how the 58-year-old was depressed at the time of the incident following a split with his long-term partner, who had left him for a woman.
Witness Victor Thanayagam, who was travelling on the boat with his family, saw Mr Stafford jump over the railings.
I saw this guy coming, the first time he tried to jump, he slipped, the second time he jumped, he climbed over the railings, he said. My wife and everyone was screaming. It was very, very fast.
Coastguard boats had taken part in a search for Mr Stafford, a port operator at Portsmouth Naval Base for BAE Systems, but no body was found.
His remains were eventually discovered in the water off the coast of Gosport, six days after the incident.
Mr Staffords sister, Katherine Upsall, told the hearing that her brother had suffered from depression issues since he came out as gay as a child but said he had a long-term relationship as an adult.
They were together for 25 years, then he left him for a woman and I do not think he got over it, she said.
We think he had felt there was nowhere he could go with his life at his age, being gay is not easy to find a partner. We knew him as happy Alan and I feel we should have pi....