Barrister who died after fall from Orwell Bridge struggled to find work, inquests hears

The Orwell Bridge

The Orwell Bridge

A 34-year-old barrister who died after falling from the Orwell Bridge was frustrated at the time of his death after struggling to find work in the legal profession, an inquest has heard.

The body of Philip Morgan, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, was found in the River Orwell on December 21 last year – nearly a month after he fell from the bridge in front of a police officer.

Mr Morgan, a qualified barrister, was “frustrated” because he had been unable to find a place in chambers, the inquest at IP-City Centre in Bath Street, Ipswich, was told yesterday.

Assistant Coroner Kevin McCarthy said Mr Morgan, who was born in London, may have been considering moving to America “to start a new life”.

Police received several reports from members of the public of an apparently distressed man on the Orwell Bridge at around 11.30am on November 26 last year.

One of the police officers who arrived at the scene shouted “just wait” to Mr Morgan.

The inquest then heard how the officer walked to the central reservation and waited for the traffic to stop before attempting to get closer to Mr Morgan.

Most Read

Reading a statement issued by the officer, Mr McCarthy told how the policeman was concerned Mr Morgan might be involved in a collision before police had a chance to close off that stretch of the A14.

Mr Morgan then disappeared from view, and fell into the water below.

A major search was launched involving the Coastguards but officers were unable to find a body.

In an effort to identify the man police issued a photograph of a pair of blue Nike trainers found on the bridge.

Then, on December 21, nearly a month later, Mr Morgan’s body was discovered in an area of weeds in the River Orwell near the bridge by sailors.

Mr Morgan was described as a “bright man” and a photographer and writer during the inquest.

A book entitled The Suffolk Coast, published in August 2011, was written by Philip Morgan. The publisher, Halsgrove, said of the author: “Philip previously studied law for five years but decided to take up writing seriously as something that had long been a passion.”

Recording an open verdict, Mr McCarthy said he had to consider a verdict of suicide but insisted he could not “see into the mind” of Mr Morgan.

For confidential support, call the Samaritans free on 116 123

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter