MYSTERY still surrounds the death of a man who fell from a road bridge onto a M60 motorway slip road at Whitefield.

Coroner Simon Nelson recorded an open verdict into the death of Phillip Alan Anderson on July 13, 2006, due to a lack of evidence about Mr Anderson's actions leading up to the fall.

Bury Coroner's Court heard on Friday how the 35-year-old, who lived with his parents in Carisbrooke Avenue, Whitefield, fell up to 40 feet to his death after mounting the railings at Bury Old Road Bridge at Junction 17 of the M60.

The court heard from Mr Anderson's father, Alan, that his son had a history of self harm and had taken excessive amounts of medication on three occasions in the months leading up to his death.

Yet Mr Anderson believed his son never intended serious harm as he would always seek help immediately after and described the former Parrenthorn High School pupil's actions as "a cry for help and attention".

On the morning of his death, Mr Anderson left his parents' home at 9am catching a tram to Manchester where he purchased a return train ticket to London and a DVD. The court heard from his father that Mr Anderson had spoken of his plans for a trip to London some time in the future.

He returned home at 10.40am and left again shortly after when he was last seen walking towards Bury Old Road from Carisbrooke Avenue. Mr Anderson told the court he assumed Phillip was on his way to see a friend he was intending to travel to London with, who worked close to Tesco in Prestwich.

No witnesses saw Mr Anderson until he fell from the footpath bridge and Inspector John Williams from Greater Manchester Police Motorway Unit, who was the first officer on the scene, told the inquest there was no evidence of any third party involvement. Mr Anderson was taken to North Manchester General Hospital where he died from multiple injuries.

The court heard Mr Anderson had a history of depression and acute anxiety and was on long term medication for his psychotic illness. He saw his GP on a weekly basis but showed no signs of suicidal tendencies the day before his death.

Mr Nelson said: "What I find bizarre are the events that preceded the traumatic incident itself on that morning. Why he would have purchased a train ticket valid from July 13 to August 12 for a substantial amount and purchased a DVD with no indication as to his subsequent actions.

"What troubles me even more is I have no account of his own movements immediately prior to mounting the railings. I have no indication at all as to whether it was a jump or fall - although I have to say I cannot imagine why he would have mounted the railings at that point.

"Because of these two factors, the lack of information as to his immediate actions before he moved from the bridge and because of his behaviour in the acquisition of the ticket, I cannot be sure it was his intention to kill himself."