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Fall to deathfrom Brighton rooftop is ruled an accident
A teenager died after plunging from a roof ledge on the fourth floor of a building after describing the views as “amazing”, an inquest head.
Matt Anderson, 19, climbed out of a small window of the seafront flat in Marine Parade, Brighton, and “shimmied” down on to a 5ft-wide ledge, at about 3pm on May 13.
But no one saw as he fell to the ground.
Matt, who was a chef at Moshi Moshi Japanese restaurant, landed on concrete and hit his head, immediately falling into a deep coma.
Assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove, Dr Karen Henderson, yesterday (July 19) said that New Zealander Matt’s desire to see the sun and sea could have proved just “too much”.
‘Temptation’ She said: “We are all mortal and the desire to have the sun on our faces and see the view can be tempting.
“Coming from New Zealand the temptation for the sun and sea was too much.
“I do believe the young believe that they are immortal.”
She said it is likely that Matt believed climbing on to the roof ledge was a “risk worth taking”.
“It was not,” she said.
“It is a tragedy, is it not?” she added.
“Matt was fun and happy and enjoyed life. He had a job and was managing things.”
Matt’s sister Rebecca Anderson, girlfriend Naomi Galloway and close friend Sebastian Jones were among those who attended the inquest at Woodvale Crematorium yesterday.
Sebastian, who was with Matt in the moments leading up to the fall, said he first went out on to the roof at about 2.30pm before having a glass of water.
Sebastian described feeling “nervous” that Matt, who had been drinking, was on the roof and said he had to pull him back in the first time after he went out because his socks were wet and he could not manage it himself.
He said Matt described the views as “amazing”, but added: “I felt there was a risk.
“I did not like him being out there. I got really nervous about it.”
Sebastian was in bed when Matt went out a second time and fell. He said he heard a “thump” and ran to the window, which was in the loft. He could not see Matt – who he said was “the nicest guy ever” – but saw a hole in the bird netting. He called 999 and paramedics arrived.
Matt was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and a few hours later was transferred to Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath, where he died on May 16.
Rebecca read out a statement from their parents.
Describing Matt as “special” they said: “The world was his oyster.”
Verdict: accidental death.