A MAN fell to his death from the balcony of his flat after suffering an epileptic seizure.

Paul Townsley plunged from his third-floor balcony in Lodsworth Close, in the Whitehawk area of Brighton.

An inquest at Brighton Coroner’s Court yesterday heard how the 48-year-old, who lived with his brother, his only relative, had suffered from epilepsy since he was a child.

Mr Townsley, who was unemployed and single, was spotted by neighbour Carmel Humphries on August 4 this year dangling one leg over his balcony railing.

Mrs Humphries told the inquest: “He had one leg over and he was looking down. I thought this was radically wrong.

“Then he threw his arm back and I thought he was moving the clothing on his line.

“Then he threw his right leg over and put his arms forward.

"It seemed like a lifetime.

“There was something on his face as he was looking down ... strange and out of character. I was used to seeing him but his face was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“I thought, if I had shouted at him while he was looking down could I have prevented it?”

The inquest heard how Mr Townsley's cause of death was multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, and died instantly.

A coroner's officer found notes in Mr Townsley's bedrooom which suggested he was unhappy

But his brother Peter suggested he may have been looking for a cigarette that he had dropped on the balcony ledge and said he was “too religious” to have taken his own life.

He also said Paul had been admitted to Mill View Hospital a few times in the past because of the delusional states he could end up in.

The inquest heard how Mr Townsley had been discovered by his brother in the early hours of his last morning in the stairwell of the flats in his pyjamas, “confused and rambling”.

Peter said that Mr Townsley had run out of his medication on the day of his death.

Consultant neurologist Julia Aram, giving evidence, said it would only take a short period of time without medication for the risk of an episode to increase.

She said: “I think within a few hours of blood levels dropping it’s possible he could have been at risk.”

Assistant coroner Catharine Palmer recorded a narrative verdict, where a short statement is read out, having decided that what happened could not be regarded as a natural event or an accident.

She said: “He was generally content with his lot.

“It’s possible he was in a seizure or in a postictal phase [a state directly after a fit] having not been able to control his actions.”