Wednesday, 20 May 2020 04:17

Malmesbury businessman suffered a tragic accident, coroner rules Featured

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A BUSINESSMAN’S mystery fall from the 11th floor of a Spanish hotel last year was probably an accident while he was ‘disorientated’, a coroner has ruled.

Richard Dawson, 57, of Bonners Close, Malmesbury, was in Madrid on business on May 26 2019 when he fell from a Marriott Hotel in the capital city, the Gloucester inquest was told.

One of the mysteries of the case, said coroner Katie Skerrett, was that alcohol was found in Mr Dawson’s body even though he had not been a drinker for 20 years.

The coroner concluded there was no evidence to suggest suicide or foul play and she recorded that his death was an accident.

His room was on the sixth floor of the hotel yet his fatal fall was from the 11th floor. The inquest heard that CCTV footage showed Mr Dawson trying a number of hotel doors on different floors.

Spanish magistrates concluded that Mr Dawson had become disorientated within the hotel, possibly from the effects of alcohol.

A post mortem examination after his body was repatriated found he had suffered a devastating blunt force trauma to the head and neck along with multiple bone fractures throughout his body - all of which was entirely consistent from falling from a great height.

There were no indications of an assault or any third party involvement, the pathology report said.

Cause of death was stated as ‘multiple blunt force injuries.’

A Spanish post-mortem revealed that Mr Dawson had a quantity of alcohol in his system - not enough to cause toxicity but enough to impair co-ordination.

The coroner said that both the Spanish and the UK post-mortems had similar conclusions but because Mr Dawson’s body had been embalmed it was not possible to conduct a reliable toxicology report in this country.

Mr Dawson’s wife Deborah told the inquest that her husband had not drunk alcohol in over 20 years and assumed that if he had drunk it would have been boredom that led him to it. She also emphasised that Mr Dawson did not have any suicidal thoughts.

The coroner said: “There are still many unanswered questions about Mr Dawson’s death.

“I have to evaluate if there was any indication of suicide. I don’t find any evidence in this case.

“On the face of it, this is a tragic accident.”

Coroner’s conclusion: Accidental death.

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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