CLIFFTOP HORROR

A GIRLFRIEND who feared the worst followed a fire engine to the scene of her boyfriend's death, an inquest heard.

Tammy Holliday told how she had desperately searched for her depressed boyfriend on the night he died after driving over a Hunstanton clifftop.

Miss Holliday (24) was so concerned about Richard Setchell, the father of her four-year-old daughter, that she followed the fire engine out of Lynn after she spotted it on the night of Thursday, October 2.

She arrived shortly after the emergency services at the scene where 23-year-old Mr Setchell's car had crashed through a fence before smashing upside down on rocks below.

Miss Holliday told coroner Bill Knowles Mr Setchell had been very upset during the day and had written her a note outlining his affection for her and also the reasons for his depression.

They had been through the note together only hours before he left their shared home in Telford Place, Lynn, on the fatal drive.

Mr Knowles read evidence of Mr Setchell's medical record, which detailed a history of depression, and that he had previously taken an overdose.

The hearing at St Margaret's House, Lynn, on Friday heard Mr Setchell had not wanted to go to work at Lynn's tax office because he was feeling too upset and depressed that morning, although he had gone.

After work Mr Setchell had gone for a drive, something he did when he was depressed.

He had come home, but at around 8pm he wanted to go for a drink at the Hob in the Well pub in Lynn.

Miss Holliday, who had been with Mr Setchell for eight years after they met at college, said she had picked him up from the pub just after 9pm.

But when he got home Mr Setchell was still depressed and wanted to go out again.

Miss Holliday, the mother of Mr Setchell's daughter Lauren, tried to stop him by taking his car keys, but he took them back and left.

She had immediately contacted Mr Setchell's mother because he was so depressed, and his mother had gone out looking for him straight away.

Miss Holliday dropped Lauren at a neighbour's before joining the search. She had gone to the Hob in the Well but Mr Setchell was not there and other friends joined the search.

She had seen a fire engine near the Rainbow stores and had followed it as it headed towards Hunstanton.

Miss Holliday said: "I followed it. I knew he was in a depressed state and that he often went to Hunstanton when he was like that."

She followed the fire engine to the cliff top near the lighthouse and that was when she was told what had happened.

Fisherman James Richardson described hearing a loud bang as he was fishing for cod with a friend off Hunstanton beach at around 10.15pm. He had been about 300 yards from the crash scene and had raced over to help, but the driver was already dead.

A post mortem showed Mr Setchell had died from multiple injuries and a blood test showed there was no alcohol in his body.

After hearing the evidence Mr Knowles said: "To get through the fence like that must have been fairly deliberate, I would think.

"He committed suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed."