A GRANDMOTHER who plunged to her death from the roof of a Bexleyheath car park in front of shoppers “might have tripped”, an inquest has heard.

Gloria Jean Gerlack, known as Jean, 67, died from multiple injuries after being seen ‘tumbling’ from the top of the Broadway Shopping Centre on May 1 at around 10.15am.

Differing eyewitness accounts of the fall led coroner Dr Roy Palmer to record an open verdict at Croydon Coroner’s Court this morning.

The family of the grandmother-of-four, who live in Brentwood Road, Bexleyheath, said the inquest has helped give closure over the death of their “sweet, gentle" loved one.

Brother-in-law Nigel Gerlack said: “She was a loving mother to Zoe and Danny and her grandchildren, a sweet gentle person.

“The inquest is a form of closure.”

The court heard during the inquest how the retired foreign exchange settlement clerk had recently been suffering from depression and had attempted self-harm once using a gas hob.

It followed worries about her dementia-suffering mother and moving house, the court heard.

Husband Barry Gerlack asked why family GP Dr Simon Pyle had not told the family about Mrs Gerlack’s self-harm attempt.

He said to Dr Pyle: “I am not blaming anybody, I am just saying that it’s a bit surprising to me that my wife had said something like that to you and I wouldn’t know about it.

“We all thought it was the worry of moving and her mother bringing her down. I didn’t have any idea (about the self harm).

“If I had known that, I would have looked at it in a different light.”

Dr Pyle said patient confidentiality had prevented him saying anything following a consultation in February.

Cause of death was given as multiple injuries and coroner Dr Palmer said there was not enough evidence to give a verdict of suicide.

Scaffolder Sammy Magee also recorded how he saw a lady peering over the edge "as if she was looking for someone" before "tumbling" moments later.

Dr Palmer said: "I have to be sure beyond reasonable doubt she meant to die by her actions - it is probable but I am not sure.

"There is no evidence of jumping. Another account said she tumbled and it is possible she tripped.

"I am so very sorry you lost her in sad circumstances."

Mr Gerlack said attempting suicide in that manner would have been most unlike his wife.

He went on to say it was possible she went up with the intention of jumping and had "second thoughts" but it was too late.