A UK inquest has ruled suicide as the cause of death of Christopher Neate, who died in August 2019.
The inquest heard that Neate, 36, from Sale, fell to his death after jumping from the seventh floor balcony of his apartment.
His parents told the inquest that he had suffered with recurring mental health issues.
Christopher was working in Ibiza as a barman, and 2019 was his third season, having already worked in 2013 and 2014.
Spanish police arrived at the apartment he shared with other workers on the Vara de Rey in San Antonio at around 2am on the 14th of August. His flatmates, who identified Christopher for Police, said on the scene that they “knew he had jumped”.
The inquest was reported by the Manchester Evening News.
Christopher Neate, from Sale, had been on the phone to his parents John and Christine about plans to fly home just hours before the tragedy in August last year.
His father said the 36-year-old had initially gone to Ibiza for seasonal work in March that year after suffering with his mental health.
He had disappeared to the Spanish island without telling them.
But he had since been in regular contact and on August 13, just five hours before he died, he seemed ‘positive and excited’ to return home.
“We were just so relieved, that made the news that next day so much harder. He seemed like his old self”, dad John Neate told the court.
The next morning, on August 14, a policeman arrived at John’s door and delivered the news that his son had died.
It left the family ‘completely devastated’, Stockport Coroner’s Court heard.
The court heard from Police Coroner’s Officer Rita Wilkinson, who said Christopher had been at his apartment on Calle Vara de Rey with his flatmates on the night he died.
“From the accounts of his flatmates, up until half an hour before there was no indication this would happen.
“All of a sudden there was a trigger. Nobody knows what. They didn’t know what caused him to jump from that balcony,” she said.
There was nothing suspicious about his death and the police were able to rule out third party involvement, the court heard.
No note was left at the scene.
PCO Wilkinson said Spanish police officers arrived at the scene at around 2am on August 14.
They were told ‘a male had jumped from a balcony.”
His flatmates, who identified Christopher, ‘knew he had jumped rather than fallen’, they said.
He had cocaine ‘in his system’ but no illicit drugs were found at the property.
A toxicology report showed that Christopher had traces of cocaine, alcohol, and antidepressants in his system.
The cocaine ‘may have affected his cognitive behaviour’, the court heard.
His cause of death was recorded as ‘traumatic brain injury’.
Christopher had a history of mental health problems – he was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression and then bipolar in 2014.
Things began looking up, but by 2017, he was struggling again.
He told his father he had taken drugs to help ‘stop the mental pain”.
The court heard that John was told about Christopher’s struggles with addiction at the end of 2017, when he attended a psychiatric appointment.
“It did come as a shock, I wasn’t aware of it. Anyone that knew him, friends and family, knew he functioned really well. When he was feeling down he did spend time in bed. That’s what was due to his mental health. He started using because it helped with the pain of his mental health”, he told the court.
At one point, Christopher checked into the Priory, a mental health facility, for a month.
Christopher died after falling from a balcony in Ibiza.
His father told the court that his son hadn’t told the family he had gone to Ibiza for seasonal work when he disappeared in March last year.
John said the family reported him missing to police as they were ‘worried about his mental health’.
“Police were fantastic, they were concerned about his vulnerability. They very quickly found out he had gone to Ibiza. Within a short time, three or four days, we managed to get hold of him, He didn’t say where he was, he said he was safe. I didn’t say I knew where he was, I didn’t want to scare him off. I was quite relieved he was there, he knew people there, he would be OK”, he told the court.
His dad believes he went to the Spanish island so ‘he could start afresh, get away from the temptations here’, he said.
Christopher, who had experience working as a digital project manager, had previously done seasonal work in Ibiza, in 2013 and 2014.
He kept in touch with the family in Ibiza, and ‘seemed to be quite happy’ telling them he had work as a bar tender, his dad told the court.
Friends said he was ‘fantastic’ – he worked hard and was well respected.
“He was generous, honest, loving and considerate”
One thing his dad did worry about was his medication – he was on antidepressants.
“He wasn’t seeing any professionals over there”, he told the court.
“He thought he could wean himself off, but at the same time he told us he wasn’t completely off the medication”, he said.
It was on August 13, several months after he had flown out to Ibiza, that he spoke to his parents on the phone about plans to come home.
“We had a great conversation. He was positive and excited to come back. He had stuff to sort out. He was looking forward to seeing us all. That was about five or six hours before he died. It made his mum so happy to speak to him”, John said.
The fact that he seemed in good spirits made it harder to comprehend what had happened, he said.
“Had it been in mid march or 2018, we wouldn’t have been that surprised. We were always worried about the thought that he would relapse, he did say it was hard to overcome addiction”, he said.
Mr Neate told the court that his son’s death has ‘changed the family forever’.
“It’s been horrific for us all”, he said.
Coroner Alison Mutch ruled that Christopher died of suicide.
“I’m satisfied that he did intend to take his own life”, she told the court.
“What is clear from the evidence is how supportive a family he had. It is clear just how difficult the last 12 months have been for you as a family”, she said.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News following the inquest , John said: “You can only imagine what the shock is like. We believed everything was OK.
“To have that knock on the door, after we’d had that wonderful conversation a few hours before. Something happened in his mind, what it was I don’t know.”
Christopher was close to his younger brother Anthony and nieces Georgia who is nearly seven and Zara, aged four.
He loved spoiling them and often bought them gifts.
In a statement, John said: “He was generous, honest, loving and considerate. He resented those who treated the less fortunate badly and was very proud of his Mancunian roots.
“He had a close circle of life-long friends (male and female) who he’d known since school and kept in touch with.”