A ‘delightful’ young dad took his own life by jumping from the 31st floor of the luxury apartment block where he worked, an inquest has heard.
Connor Bond, 22, died as a result of ‘multiple injuries’ following the fall at Greengate, in Salford, on February 16 of last year.
The hearing at Bolton Coroner’s Court today was told that Connor, who worked as a concierge, would have been killed ‘instantly’ upon hitting the pavement below.
Coroner Timothy Brennand recorded a verdict of suicide and described his death as ‘a deliberate and intentional act’.
The inquest was adjourned in December to allow a further police investigation to be launched after evidence was heard that Connor had a ‘dysfunctional and sometimes toxic’ relationship with his daughter’s mother, including regular messages and phone calls.
However, police coroner’s officer Marcheta Hogan said officers had been unable to analyse text messages from Connor’s phone as it was destroyed in the fall.
Meanwhile, attempts to speak to his ex-partner, who lives in Glasgow, had proved unsuccessful.
Ms Hogan added that the investigation had found ‘no suspicious circumstances’ surrounding his death.
The inquest heard that Connor’s parents, Stephen and Alison, had last seen him on the morning prior to his death at their home, in Miles Platting.
He had ‘seemed his normal, happy self’ as he sang along to Frank Sinatra while getting ready for work.
Family and friends said they believed something must have ‘sparked a downward spiral’ in Connor in the hours leading up to his death.
The inquest heard from Jasmine Fricker, a friend of Connor’s, who claimed he was ‘neglected and abused’ by his ex-partner and that she would use their child ‘to get what she wanted’.
Another friend, Neville Edwards, described Connor as being ‘full of life’ and a ‘a joy to be around’.
He explained that Connor was considering moving to Scotland to be closer to his daughter.
“We talked at length because he was adamant he wanted to do the right thing,” said Mr Edwards. “To do what a man should do and look after his kids.
“His conflict was because of the way she manipulated him and treated him.
“He was more than capable of being an amazing father.”
Mr Edwards said that when he last saw Connor, about a week prior to his death, he had seemed ‘subdued’.
He added that his friend had told him he had thought about ending his life, and he had tried to persuade him not to.
Mr Edwards said he believed Connor’s actions were ‘linked to the way he was feeling to his former partner’.
“I’m 100pc certain that it would have to be some recent contact from her that has sparked that downward spiral within a couple of hours,” he said.
“It’s the only thing he held so close to his heart that would have tipped him over.”
In a statement, forensic toxicologist Julie Evans said tests had revealed that Connor had a drunk a ‘large amount’ of alcohol prior to his death.
A post-mortem examination found he had 175 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, which was just over twice the legal alcohol limit for driving, but not enough to be toxic on its own.
Daniel Zotec, who worked alongside Connor on the night of his death, said his colleague had seemed ‘tipsy’ so he recommended he go down to the porter’s lodge to rest and recover.
But the inquest heard he then travelled to the penthouse floor of the apartment block, where he used a key to open a window.
James McDermott, the director of Zenith Management, which manages the apartment block, told the inquest that the window in question was locked at all times.
He explained that only someone with ‘specific knowledge’ would have been able to open it, and that Connor would have known how as part of his job role.
After climbing over a bar, situated at chest height, Connor then sent a message to Ms Fricker saying he was ‘done’, accompanied by a photograph from a height.
A further message, sent just prior to him jumping to his death, read: “I’m gone.”
The inquest heard that Connor had contacted his GP about experiencing suicidal thoughts on two separate occasions, in 2016 and 2018.
On the first occasion, he suggested that he had drank a quantity of floor cleaner following an argument with his partner.
Recording his verdict, Coroner Timothy Brennand described Connor as ‘a young man who had everything to live for’.
He added: “He had the world at his feet and could have achieved anything he wanted.
“The tragedy is that he has had his life blighted by this dysfunctional and toxic relationship.
“It’s quite clear to me that Connor was a delightful young man.
“He was larger than life and somebody who was able to put a smile on the faces of those that knew him.”
Mr Brennand said it was ‘clear that Connor had become somewhat distressed and emotional’ in the hours leading leading up to his death
He added: “I am sure it must well have been some information or communication he received that turned him to recourse by way of alcohol.
“It is clear that in drink he did not think things through and made a number of choices that in the clear light of day he would not have done.
“The physical act that was required to get to the 31st floor, to open the window, to get across a bar that was at chest height, suggests this was a deliberate act from beginning to end.”
Following the hearing, Connor’s family paid an emotional tribute to him.
“He left a mark on so many people’s lives,” they said.
“He had loads of friends. You just had to meet Connor once and you never forgot him.
“He was a real character and an old soul in a young body.
“We were so proud of him.”