Bristol insurance worker jumped to death from office

A Bristol insurance worker jumped to his death from the third floor of his office block, an inquest has heard.

Robert West, 52, leapt from the balcony of the Axa Centre, in Stoke Gifford, where he worked as an administrator, on 2 September last year.

Many of his colleagues were on their lunch break and witnessed his fall.

Dr Simon Fox, assistant deputy coroner for Avon, heard Mr West, of Henleaze, had a history of stress and depression. He recorded a verdict of suicide.

Avon Coroner's Court, in Flax Bourton, heard Mr West died of multiple injuries.

'Counsellors brought in'

Mr West had worked at Axa Sun Life since he was 18 but in 2009 he transferred to the outsourcing company Capita when it took over 3.2 million Axa life assurance and pension policies.

At the time of his death he was working in Capita's pensions servicing department.

Jon Saunders, regional director for Capita, said a number of employees had been affected by Mr West's death and counsellors had been brought in to meet staff.

He said: "It was a very public event, unfortunately. The building is a bit like a shopping mall and it took place during the lunch period.

"Many still remember Bob and their thoughts are very much with his family."

At the time of Mr West's death it had been suggested that he was worried about the possibility of redundancy.

The previous March, Capita announced it was making up to 100 redundancies from its 900-strong workforce at the Stoke Gifford site.

However, Mr Saunders said the redundancy programme was something in the past and would not have worried Mr West at the time of his death.