THE family of a man who killed himself by jumping from his 12th floor flat to avoid arrest said his death could have been prevented.

Robert Stenning, 52, died of multiple injuries after plunging from the lounge window of his flat in Greenwood House, Argent Street, in Grays, on October 23, 2006.

The grandfather, was due to be arrested by police after an alleged assault on his ex-partner’s new boyfriend the previous day.

Speaking after an inquest jury had reached a verdict of suicide at Chelmsford’s County Hall, Mr Stenning’s brother, Michael, said: “I do think his death could have been prevented and the police over-reacted. There was more good than bad in my brother.

“I think it should have been an open verdict. I am not condoning what he did, but it went wrong from the minute the police went through the front door.”

The inquest heard seven officers had to force entry into the flat after a chair had been placed in front of the door.

They had not been told Mr Stenning suffered from a mental illness and had threatened to jump from a window before.

He was first seen by a psychiatrist in 1983 and had been seen twice by Dr Marcel Westerlund in the weeks leading up to his death.

Following his death, Essex Police’s Professional Standards department launched an investigation, and as a result, the two officers involved were given “words of advice”.

Coroner, Caroline Beasley-Murray, said she would write to police informing them not all the information and intelligence on Mr Stenning was available to the arresting officers when it should have been.

Essex Police spokeswoman, Donna Veasey, said: “Essex Police extends its condolences to the family and friends of Robert Stenning.

“We await receipt of the letter from HM Coroner and will review our policy and practice.”