A MAN who fell 11 storeys to his death had been in a stand-off with police having broken into the same building site just days earlier.

William Firth had climbed to the top of the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s 3Ts building site, throwing scaffolding poles to the ground and threatening to jump until he was talked down by armed officers on July 11.

Three days later his body was found at the basement level by a group of teenage boys who had also broken into the site, an inquest into William’s death at Hove Trial Centre heard on Monday.

The boys said it was not the first time they had trespassed on the building site.

Plans to improve security started the day after William, known as Will, was arrested at the site – but no practical changes had been made by the time of his death, the inquest was told.

Brighton and Hove Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley described the site as one of the most prominent in the city and expressed concerns that both Will and and the boys had been able to enter.

Will, 34, of Percival Terrace, is thought to have fallen from the ninth floor, landing in the basement level of a riser shaft on July 14.

A group of five 14-year-old boys found his body. They told police they broke into the building site through a fire exit in the Barry Building then climbed along a ledge – telling officers “it’s what we do”.

Will, who was 6ft 5ins tall, is thought to have got into the site through a different route – scaling the hoardings bordering Bristol Gate. The group of boys found Will, then called 999. In a statement given to Will’s inquest one of the boy’s said: “We looked down the elevator shaft and saw a body at the bottom.”

After breaking into the hospital site on the first occasion, Will was talked down by armed officers.

He was arrested for criminal damage and detained under the mental health act. He was taken to Mill View hospital but discharged the following day.

On July 13, an ambulance was called to Percival Terrace as Will was threatening to harm himself. He was first taken to Mill View, but could not be admitted and was sent back to the Royal Sussex County accident and Emergency. He was discharged just after midnight on July 14 and is thought to have broken into the building site within the hospital grounds shortly after.

The inquest into his death continues.

CARING William Firth’s life spiralled out of control after a string of physical and mental health problems.

Will had worked as a PCSO and then for victim support before the getting divorced and moving back home with his parents Christopher and Susan in Welwyn Garden City in 2009.

He started to suffer from back problems and was put on strong painkillers.

His mother told the inquest: “He was a very caring boy. He liked talking to people. That’s why he started working for Victim Support.

“For a young man it was huge to be told his back was only going to get worse.

“He was on very strong medication, opioids and antidepressants.”

His family said he began taking more cannabis and legal highs and was taken advantage of by drug dealers. He moved to Brighton and lost contact with his family for long periods of time but had visited over Christmas 2018.

His brother David said: “The last time I spoke to him was in the middle of March.

“He seemed positive,

“He was talking about wanting to get back into work.

“I always said to him ‘you don’t have to wait for me to call you. You can always call me’.

“I hadn’t heard from him again.”