Roofer who died in fall ‘may have blacked out’

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A ROOFER who had weaned himself off his vertigo medication fell to his death while helping to prune a tall tree, an inquest heard.

Craig McNulty, who was experienced at working at heights, had been helping cut branches with his partner’s father, when tragedy struck on August 1 last year.

The 38-year-old fell, landing on his feet on the concrete below, before falling back and hitting his head, suffering “catastrophic injuries”.

His inquest yesterday heard that in early 2011 the father-of-one had taken a fall from 12ft-high scaffolding, suffering some injuries. When he was examined by doctors he said he was worried because he had felt dizzy and blacked out.

A statement from his GP said he was referred to a neurologist and diagnosed as suffering from a form of vertigo for which he was prescribed medication.

Appointments with his neurologist and GP over the year showed the medication to be working and then, at a follow-up appointment in February last year, he told his doctor that he had felt dizzy and had blacked out again about five weeks earlier as he picked something up from the shower.

A month later the roofer, of Batley, West Yorkshire, was advised to stop working at heights and told to stop driving and contact the DVLA about his condition.

Bradford Coroner’s Court heard that it was in June when Mr McNulty “admitted he had weaned himself off the medication and said he never felt better”.

Less than two months later he fell from the tree.

Deputy coroner Oliver Longstaff said: “We know he had a history of blackouts and a history of a fall and he had been given medication to control any predilection to further falls. And we know he had stopped taking the medication.”

He added that nobody knew why but it may have been to get his driving licence back.

Acting Detective Inspector Matt Hawker told the court that there was no evidence that when he fell to the ground he made any 
attempt at all to try to save himself.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Longstaff said: “It seems to me more likely than not that Mr McNulty had blacked out again before he fell.”

He added that “whether it was relating to not taking his medication”, was something he did not need to resolve.

Speaking after his death, his long-term partner, Sharon McNulty, said: “Craig was the most generous, giving person you could ever meet.”