Mansfield man died in car park rooftop fall after ex-wife attack

A MANSFIELD man committed suicide by throwing himself off a shopping centre car park just minutes after he had attacked his former wife, an inquest was told.

Stephen Moody (59) was seen to roll off the wall of the second floor of the Four Seasons Centre car park on the afternoon of 8th February this year.

When police later visited his home on Victoria Street, they found Mr Moody’s former wife Catherine with life-threatening head injuries and barely conscious.

A claw hammer and a bayonet were found lying nearby.An inquest into Mr Moody’s death at Nottingham Coroner’s Court was told he died from multiple injuries following the fall.

Witness Andrea Eley, who had been in Mansfield shopping and was returning to the car, told the hearing how she heard a door slam and saw a man walking ‘briskly’ towards the wall of the car park.

“He climbed on the wall, lay flat on top of the wall and rolled over,” she said.

Another witness, Jennifer Pincott, was waiting for a taxi on the street below when she saw Mr Moody roll over the wall and fall.

“It was over in a matter of seconds,” she said.

“There was no hesitation.”

Passers-by ran to Mr Moody’s assistance but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Det Insp Adrian Morgan, of Nottinghamshire Police, told the hearing that Mrs Moody was captured on CCTV camera leaving work at West Notts College at around 2pm.

A colleague gave her a lift home, dropping her off at 2.22pm, and cameras then show her almost immediately leaving her Moor Street address and walking round to Mr Moody’s house.

Det Insp Morgan said that the next thing that CCTV cameras pick up is Mr Moody leaving his home at around 2.29pm.

He arrived at the Four Seasons at 2.35pm.

Police investigations took officers round to the house on Victoria Steet just before 5pm.

They found Mrs Moody on the floor in the living room with significant head injuries and with the two weapons lying nearby.

Said Det Insp Morgan: “It became clear that Catherine had suffered serious head injuries and minor puncture wounds, presumably caused by the bayonet.”

Forensic tests confirmed that Mr Moody was present during the assault on Mrs Moody and police concluded that nobody else was involved.

Mrs Moody had emergency surgery and has not been able to give an account of the incident to police.

She may never fully recover from her injuries.

The inquest heard from Mr and Mrs Moody’s daughter, Sharon Power, that her father had struggled with depression and panic attacks and had become withdrawn since being made redundant 10 years ago.

His marriage to Mrs Moody broke down and they divorced in 2010 but still had a good relationship and she would cook and clean for him.

Doctors diagnosed him as having severe agrophobic disorder and he was a patient at Sutton’s Milbrook Mental Health Unit.

He was taking medication for his psychological and psychiatric problems but had not changed his prescription in the run up to the incident.

Mrs Power said that after Christmas her father’s behaviour changed and became ‘more bizarre’ but there was no indication he would do what he did.

“He was apologising for things he had done in the past, texting us, trying to get in contact with us,” she said.

Describing it as a ‘particularly difficult and tragic case’, Nottinghamshire coroner Mairin Casey recorded a verdict of suicide, pointing to the fact that Mr Moody had left documents bundled together with a note to police and the deterioration in his mood.

She said that there ‘was no evidence that could have alerted people to foresee or predict his behaviour’ and added: “What we cannot do is be clear as to what motivated him to behave the way he did that day.”