A QUANTITY surveyor plunged 70 feet to his death in London’s Canary Wharf after “work stress came to a head,” an inquest heard.

Richard Gent, 52, from Kelvedon, threw himself off the third floor of the shopping centre landing on the marble floor below.

An inquest concluded the father-of-two took his own life by intentionally climbing over a waist high railing on the top floor of the atrium.

Mr Gent worked as a commercial executive at Canary Wharf Contractors Ltd for 20 years and in the past had taken time off work for depression and stress, Poplar Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

He was relocated from an on-site role to the London office after raising concerns about his mental health.

In a statement read out at the inquest Det Sgt Donna Brightmore said Mr Gent’s wife, Helen, pleaded with him to change jobs just hours before he died.

She said: “That morning Richard told her he hadn’t slept for two nights and he couldn’t go on like that. She suggested he changed jobs and contact his GP.

“He didn’t want to tell work about the stress but she believed they would support him as they had done previously.”

In a written statement Mr Gent’s younger brother, Andy, said: “Richard took care of situations and was a reliable, steady person.

“He was calm level headed, if you needed him he was always there. The manner in which he did it was shocking and was not like Richard. He was always mindful of others and to do it in such a public place with witnesses showed he was not thinking in his usual way.

“Work stress came to a head that morning but I do not believe he planned it.”

In a written statement group personnel manager David Fendley said they

had made adjustments for Mr Gent and he took three weeks off work in 2011 and five weeks in 2017.

Mr Fendley said: “On December 21 he had his annual review but suggested he was disappointed. He expressed frustration that other colleagues had become associate directors and his job title hadn’t changed since 2007.”

He said Mr Gent had accepted depression and stress was something “he was always going to struggle with” and told bosses he needed a break from managing staff.

GP Al Sayed said he last saw Mr Gent on December 28 and said: “He presented symptoms of stress and anxiety due to work place stress and asked to go back on the anti-depressants.”

He said Mr Gent had a history of depression, the first in March 2011 when “he expressed feelings of depression but no suicidal thoughts.”

Coroner Dr Sarah Bourke said Mr Gent said: “Richard was well respected, kind-hearted, reliable and considerate.

“We know he suffered depression in 2011, 2015 and 2017 and we know he denied having thoughts of harming himself.

“He headed to his job as usual and told his wife he struggled sleeping and couldn’t go on like this.

“She suggested he should change jobs but he too worried about supporting his family.”

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