NORTH Wales Police officer, PC Ryan Donaldson, tragically died on December 11, 2022, just hours after telling his parents that his relationship was over. The inquest, held in Ruthin, revealed that the 31-year-old had been battling depression for a couple of years.
On the day of his death, a couple, Dr Helen Moon and her husband Stephen, were walking across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct above the River Dee when they saw a man sitting on the railings with his legs dangling over the edge. Within seconds, the man pushed himself off, falling onto a path. The couple initially thought he had fallen into the river but soon realized that he had fallen onto a path. Sergeant Joseph Dunne, who was at the scene, discovered a police warrant card in the man’s pocket before realizing that it was PC Donaldson, whom he knew.
The inquest heard that PC Donaldson had texted his former girlfriend, stating that he couldn’t “be bothered anymore.” He also sent texts to his family, apologizing for “what I am about to do.” Consultant pathologist Dr. Mark Atkinson gave the cause of death as multiple injuries.
PC Donaldson’s mother, Linda Donaldson, revealed that he had informed her that morning that his relationship was over and later went out for a walk. The officer, who had joined North Wales Police in 2018, was described as a “much-loved son and brother” who loved serving in the police force. His family was proud of his achievements, and he was said to have enjoyed socializing with friends and colleagues.
Recording a conclusion of suicide, John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales East and Central, described PC Donaldson’s death as a massive loss to his family and everyone who knew him. He acknowledged that the officer had struggled for years but had still provided a valuable service to the community as a police officer.