A STRING of suicide notes were left by a man who plunged to his death after jumping from a multi-storey car park on the day he was due to appear in court accused of supplying cocaine.

An inquest heard that Steven Archer left handwritten notes at his home address in Ramsgate Crescent, Walney, before falling from a car park above The Forum in Barrow on August 18 last year. He died from his injuries at Furness General Hospital at 1.35pm.

The 49-year-old also left an unsent text message on his mobile phone, which revealed his suicidal intentions, on the passenger seat of his car.

Mr Archer had been due to appear before Carlisle Crown Court that day for a trial after being accused of possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mr Archer was one of two men from the Barrow area arrested after a car was stopped by police on the M6 near Kendal on June 4 last year.

More than £60,000 worth of cocaine weighing at least 2.5kg was found in the boot of his car but Mr Archer maintained his innocence throughout court proceedings.

His arrest was linked with a wider conspiracy which saw 15 defendants jailed for a total of almost 100 years in July earlier this year after police seized cocaine, cannabis and methcathinone worth more than £1m being transported into Cumbria.

Coroner Mr Robert Chapman ruled that Mr Archer committed suicide and died as a result of the multiple injuries sustained from his fall.

Prior to his death, Mr Archer had attended 23 therapy sessions over 18 months with clinical psychiatrist Dr Jo Smithers.

During these sessions he expressed anger and depression linked to various issues in his life, including a “traumatic childhood” and having to use a food bank due to money problems.

Mr Archer also told Dr Smithers that he had contemplated suicide on numerous occasions and said he would take his own life if his dog died. At a session in May last year, Mr Archer was also angry after being told that he had pancreatitis after initially being told he had terminal cancer.

Dr Smithers said: “He felt his life was an ongoing struggle and one aspect of that was his physical health problems, which he was struggling to manage. A terminal process to some degree was a comfort to him instead of the prospect of going forward.”

The last session between the pair was held on August 4 last year. Mr Archer had at this point been told by a solicitor that he could be facing six years in jail and Dr Smithers noted that he was nervous about his upcoming trial.

Despite his fears she did not feel that there was a high risk of him taking his own life and therefore didn’t fill out a risk assessment form.

However, Dr Smithers, who offered him a session on the day before his trial, insisted that if she had filled out the form she still would have come to the conclusion that there was a low risk of suicide.

Louise Wareing, a friend of Mr Archer, attended the inquest with Mr Archer’s brother, Simon, and his father, Robert. She told the hearing she had seen him two days prior to his death and was shocked by his decision to take his own life.

She said: “There was nothing in his demeanour to indicate that he was going to kill himself otherwise I would have insisted on going to court with him on the day of his trial.

“I can’t understand how he did it in such a public place when he knew that children would be going past. That was something that I did not anticipate.”

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