Family switches off life support machine after sister falls from holiday roof garden

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TWO women agreed to turn off their sister’s life support machine after she suffered massive head injuries when she fell from a roof garden in Singapore, an inquest heard today.

Sarah Royle, 31, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, fell five storeys after celebrating the England football team’s World Cup victory over Slovenia with friends, her family said after the hearing.

Sarah Royle, and below with boyfriend Chris Scrimshaw

Sarah Royle, and below with boyfriend Chris Scrimshaw

The former cleaning company director suffered serious head injuries, brain damage and broken legs from the fall from an apartment block in June 2010, the inquest at Halifax Coroner’s Court heard.

Doctors at Tan Tock Seng hospital switched off her life support three days later with the consent of Ms Royle’s sisters, Johanna, 36, and Premsa, 34, who had flown in to be at her bedside.

Coroner Roger Whittaker was forced to record an open verdict due to “insufficient evidence”.

The sisters said they were happy with his decision. They had attended the inquest in Singapore in November, which recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Sarah Royle and her boyfriend Chris Scrimshaw

Sarah Royle and her boyfriend Chris Scrimshaw

After the hearing, Johanna said: “This was just a formality to us, Singapore was very thorough, it answered all our questions. With the witness statements and the photographic evidence it all made sense.”

“We did get closure from Singapore even though we had to wait years. It was very emotional and hard but we did get closure, and before that I didn’t really know what that meant.

“I realise now what closure is because your mind knows everything that happened and where it’s left open you just think horrible things all the time.

“Sarah would be really glad that this is the final piece of the puzzle. I think she’d be happy that we’re finally at peace now and getting on with our lives, she knows that we miss her so much.”

Premsa, fighting back tears, said: “We’re so happy that she was in our life even though it was very short.”

Ms Royle had watched the football with her boyfriend and two men they had just met, according to her sisters who heard about her final hours at the inquest in Singapore.

They said Ms Royle had gone to Singapore temporarily from Australia, where she was travelling. Her Australian visa had expired and so she left the country.

The group had been in high spirits following the England victory and had gone to a nightclub.

Premsa said: “There’s photographs of her from the night. She was in really high spirits, climbing scaffolding and she was just having a laugh.”

After leaving the club, Ms Royle went to one of the men’s apartment blocks alone.

The pair were drinking by the swimming pool when the man went to get more drinks. At this point the pair lost each other.

Her sisters said Ms Royle had gone looking for the man and ended up in the wrong apartment.

After the resident found her, Ms Royle panicked and left through the back entrance of the apartment on to a roof garden.

As she tried to negotiate her way back into the block, she fell, they said.

Paying tribute to her sister, Johanna said: “She will just be forever in our hearts. We always feel that because there were three sisters there’s something missing. But we’ve got to carry on because Sarah wants us to carry on.”