Rooftop plunge death captured on TV cameras

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A 65 year old man died instantly after falling from a roof into the storage yard of a Marlowes bargain store, an inquest has found.

Patrick James McConnon of Parkhill Road, Hemel Hempstead, had been reported missing by his wife on the morning of February 9, when she did not find him downstairs as she expected.

He was later found dead by Det Con Jane Swift of Herts Police and ambulance crew.

Deputy coroner for Herts Graham Danbury explained that Mr McConnon had walked the mile distance from his home to Waterhouse Street, and entered the yard adjoining B&M Bargains where he climbed some stairs to a flat roof around 10 metres high.

Images of his legs landing on the ground were captured on CCTV. He died at 9.27am of multiple traumatic injuries to his head and body.

DC Swift said she had watched two hours of CCTV footage on three cameras in the area and was satisfied no one else was in the yard at the time.

At the inquest into his death on Wednesday, the court heard that Mr McConnon had been drinking the previous night. A post-mortem showed he had 111 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal driving limit is 80 milligrammes.

Mr Danbury said: “The level of alcohol in his system was likely to have resulted in impaired awareness of his surroundings and movements. Clearly, with his judgement impaired, Patrick went over the roof’s edge.

“This is, in all respects, a tragic act that nobody intended to happen.”

He also thanked the many members of Mr McConnon’s family who attended the inquest for coming and supporting each other.

Verdict: Accidental death.