Search

Son of philosophy professor who fell from Archway Bridge wanted to ‘end his pain, not his life’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 April 2014

Archway Bridge

Archway Bridge

Polly Hancock

The son of a prominent philosophy professor “wanted to end his pain and not his life” when he jumped from Archway Bridge, his family have said at an inquest into his death.

Michael Worrall, 28, the son of London School of Economics academic John Worrell, died from multiple injuries after falling from the bridge, over Archway Road, Highgate, on October 18 last year.

His mother, Dr Jennifer Worrell, a consultant rheumatologist at the Whittington Hospital, said her son had “a great deal of pain” stemming from his teenage years. “There is no history of mental illness in our family and before the age of 14 he was a happy, highly bright, sociable boy,” she told St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Friday.

“He took solace in cannabis and developed other mental health problems after that. Latterly, he developed some insight into his problems and said several times that he had wrecked his life.

“He came from a professional family and he felt that was no longer open to him. I think he wanted to end his pain and not his life.”

After he was ‘‘involved in a robbery’’, Mr Worrell, of Crouch End, was admitted to a secure mental health unit at Chase Farm Hospital in April 2012. He was prescribed anti-psychotics and antidepressants and he saw psychologists on a regular basis.

In April 2013, he was transferred to a low-security unit where his mental health continued to 
improve. He was discharged in July but continued to see a psychologist and his care co-ordinator every week until his death.

During these visits, he would not answer questions about his mental health and would only talk about football and his biggest passion, music.

On the day of Michael’s death, his father did not have any concerns about his son until he spoke to him on the phone.

“His sister was coming home and he should have been excited about it, but he said he couldn’t make it, which was very odd,” said Prof Worrell, who for 10 years was the editor of The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

“I didn’t have any concerns before going out but when I talked to him on the phone, it made me very concerned.”

Assistant coroner Dr Richard Brittain reached a narrative conclusion as he did not have enough evidence about Michael’s intentions before his death to determine that he took his own life.

“Michael had significant mental health problems,” he told the court. “His death was not foreseeable. Really, it’s just for me to 
offer my condolences for Michael’s death at a very young age in very tragic circumstances.”

n For confidential emotional support in a crisis, contact the Samaritans around the clock on 08457 90 90 90.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

A mother-of-nine and her nephew became innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” when they were shot dead in their own home in East Finchley, the Old Bailey has heard.

Fire crews tackled a blaze that tore through a three-storey terraced house in Kentish Town.

12:18

The future of a family centre which is battling a lack of funding is closer to being secured after 127 children took part in a fun run.

07:00

The tragic death of nine-year-old chess champion Michael Uriely from an asthma attack is hearbreaking enough.

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

10:52

A man was subjected to a “disgraceful and prolonged” sexual assault on a busy Victoria Line train between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

10:19

Police are searching for a man after presents were stolen from a Primrose Hill home on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday, 14:09

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now