Inquest told tinnitus led to plumber’s holiday death fall

Have your say

A HOLIDAYMAKER fell to his death from a hotel balcony after he lost his balance because he was suffering from tinnitus, an inquest heard.

Plumber Sam Hill, 22, was on holiday with friend Roland Sands in Magaluf on September 11 last year when he fell just 6ft from the emergency escape balcony at the Hostal Villa de Sol.

At an inquest in Bradford yesterday, Coroner Sam Cariss recorded a verdict of accidental death caused by head injuries.

He attributed the fall to a combination of Mr Hill’s tinnitus and alcohol which he had consumed with his friend.

The coroner said: “What we can assume happened is that Sam, due to his tinnitus, had overbalanced on the balcony and fell.”

Referring to Mr Hill’s relatively short plunge, Mr Cariss said his “skull was thinner than most people’s.”

He told Mr Hill’s family and girlfriend, who sat in court: “He would have had to overbalance over the balcony.

“This is just a tragic accident.”

The inquest heard that Mr Hill’s sense of balance was skewed due to his condition.

He had booked an appointment with a GP about his tinnitus just days before his holiday at the resort on the Spanish island of Majorca.

Mr Hill was prescribed antibiotics, which the coroner acknowledged may have reacted badly with the alcohol that he and his friend drank during their holiday.

The inquest heard that Mr Hill, of Riddlesden in West Yorkshire, had been on a night out with his friend when they lost each other.

He walked back to his hotel alone – but 10 minutes later was found dead by Alexander Campbell, a British man on holiday who was listening to music in the next room and heard someone fall, the court heard.

Gareth Elms, a British police officer who was also on holiday, had seen Mr Hill with his head on the grass.

The inquest heard that Mr Elms moved Mr Hill to the first floor hallway and carried out CPR in a bid to resuscitate him, before calling for an ambulance – but there was no sign of a pulse.

When paramedics arrived, they pronounced Mr Hill dead just as his friend arrived back at the hotel.

The plumber had been due to fly home to West Yorkshire later that day.

Mr Cariss added that Mr Hill’s death had been “a loss of life too early”.

“I can only try to imagine how difficult this has been for you,” he said to Mr Hill’s parents, Vanessa and Steve, brother, Tom, and girlfriend Jodie Corbett.

“I wish you well as you treasure memories of happier times.”

After the hearing, Mr Hill’s father said: “He was just a lovely man with a great life ahead of him, sadly cut short.

“He will be greatly missed.”