Tragedy as beloved mum dies after falling from M60 bridge

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The former partner of a ‘much loved’ mum who died after falling from a bridge above the M60 said he tried to support her with her mental health struggles as much as he could.

Katalin Szabo, 33, died after climbing over a bridge barrier on the motorway and falling to the carriageway on the morning of May 18, 2021. Police were called to reports of a fatal collision at around 7.50am where Katalin was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

An inquest into Katalin’s death, held at South Manchester Coroner’s Court in Stockport on Wednesday (May 4), heard how Katalin was born and raised in Budapest. She met her partner Istvan Narai in Hungary in 2010 and the pair moved to the UK a few years later. They lived together in Fallowfield and had a son, who was born in 2018.

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The inquest – preceded by coroner Christopher Morris – heard how Katalin had a history of mental health problems and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager. She also suffered from ‘extreme’ anxiety and depression.

In 2020, Katalin told Narai that she wanted to end their relationship but she was unable to move out at the time due to pandemic restrictions. She eventually moved into a new home with a new partner in January 2021.



Photograph of Coroners Court Stockport Vincent Cole 22 01 2021
South Manchester Coroners Court

“For the first few weeks, she seemed happy but then I started to notice a shift in her mood,” Narai said in a statement. “I recognized this as a sign that her mental health was deteriorating.” The inquest was told that at a similar time, Katalin had raised concerns with her GP about her increased anxiety and was prescribed a change of antidepressants.

On March 22, 2021, Katalin asked Narai if he could look after their son for the day. As the day progressed, Narai became concerned when he was unable to make contact with Katalin. When he went to her home, I found her unresponsive in bed having taken a drug overdose.

Katalin was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital where she later made a good recovery. The inquest was told that she confided in members of the hospital’s Mental Health Liaison Team that she was struggling with her anxiety and had intended to take her own life. The inquest heard she later expressed guilt and said she was glad her attempt had been unsuccessful.

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Due to her ‘unusual social circumstances’, psychiatrist Dr Smith made a recommendation that she should be detained under the Mental Health Act. When asked if she would be willing to agree to an informal admission, she declined and said she wanted to go home.

On March 29, it was decided that Katalin did not meet the legal test for detention as she was showing ‘good insight’ and ‘had the mental capacity to make decisions on her own’. She was instead referred for home care treatment as it was agreed by the team to be ‘something she would be likely to respond to’. “It didn’t escalate to a need for immediate detention”, Ruth Kelly-Baici, a social worker at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, told the inquest.

As part of the home care treatment, it was agreed that she would move back in with Narai as he had come to be ‘very supportive of her as a mother and as an individual’. Coroner Mr Morris described Narai as having ‘a significant role in her stability and safety de ella’.

Initially, Katalin was said to have made good progress and was reported as speaking ‘insightfully and intelligently’ and planning for the future. Coroner Christopher Morris told the inquest: “It’s very clear that the members of the home based team who sought to follow up did so thoroughly and diligently. They maintained very frequent contact.”

On the evening of May 17, the inquest heard that Katalin and Narai had an argument and she left the home. Narai was able to convince her to return, but she was described as being ‘withdrawn and behaving unusually’. The next morning, he woke up at around 7am to find Katalin had left the house. When he discovered her mobile phone and her purse were still at home, I filed a missing person’s report with police.

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Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected] , write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING , FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.

For support for people feeling suicidal, if you are concerned about someone or if you are bereaved by suicide see http://shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk

CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline is for men who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They’re open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.

Greater Manchester Bereavement Service Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can help to find support for anyone in Greater Manchester who has been bereaved or affected by a death. No one needs to feel alone as they deal with their grief. www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk

Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organization supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Beat Eating Disorders: Beat provides helplines for adults and young people offering support and information about eating disorders. These helplines are free to call from all phones. Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677, Studentline: 0808 801 0811, Youthline: 0808 801 0711. www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Anorexia & Bulimia Care: ABC provide on-going care, emotional support and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders, those struggling personally and parents, families and friends. Helpline: 03000 11 12 13. www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying studentsagainstdepression.org

For information and links to charities and organizations that can help with substance abuse, visit https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/drugs/

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At 7.46am, Katalin was picked up on CCTV cameras situated in a car park near the M60 which showed her walking towards a footpath. Just a few minutes later, police were called to reports of a fatality on the motorway following a serious collision with a heavy goods vehicle.

Claire Smith, police coroners officer at Greater Manchester Police, told the inquest that the police investigation found no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement. Coroner Morris ruled the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident had ‘no realistic prospect of stopping or avoiding the collision’ and had been ‘extremely cooperate’ with police.



Police at the scene of the tragedy on the M60
Police at the scene of the tragedy on the M60

Paying tribute to Katalin, Mr Narai said in a witness statement: “We met in Hungary around 2010. We moved to the UK a few years later and she did not have any relatives here. She was suffering with mental health problems from before I met her and from what she told me it had been going on since she was a teenager.

She sometimes suffered from extreme anxiety and I would describe her mood as very up and down. She was prescribed medicine to help control this, and most of the time it was effective when it was used as it was supposed to.”

He added: “I tried to support her as much as I could. She was given the option of going into hospital and she agreed to this at one stage but later changed her mind. They did everything they could to support her. She was very much loved by everyone who knew her and she is sadly missed.”

Following pathologist Dr Howarth’s finding that Katalin died as a consequence of multiple injuries, coroner Morris reached a narrative conclusion of suicide. “This is a tragic case,” Mr Morris remarked. “Miss Szabo was a much loved mother who she was very well thought of.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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