Family appeal for information after mystery surrounds man’s death at Seaford cliffs

Seaford Head cliffs
Seaford Head cliffs

The family of a former prisoner found dead on Seaford Head Beach is appealing for witnesses after mystery still surrounds the cause of his death.

Geoffrey Peacock, 30, a scaffolder from Hastings, was discovered dead on February 24 on the beach below Seaford Head, an inquest at Eastbourne heard on Thursday (September 12).

Members of Mr Peacock’s family said, “He always comes down to us and this time it feels like he fell off the face of the earth.

“If people saw him or had seen him please come forward, it will help us find out where he was.

“He was a drug user and a drinker, they know where to get their fix, they are going to go somewhere they know.”

The family last saw him on Christmas Day in 2018 and said they did not know he was out of prison.

They said, “Our argument here is if someone leaves prison, they go back to where they grew up, he has always gone home. Someone must have seen him.”

Dr David Wright, who conducted the post-mortem exam, said there were few external injuries to Mr Peacock.

He said, “I could not say for definite he drowned but I can say he probably did.”

DS Tod Stewart said at the inquest, “There is no evidence to suggest somebody attacked Geoffrey or pushed him from the cliff.”

Paul Mason, head of safety at Lewes prison, said CCTV evidence prior to Mr Peacock’s death showed he was involved in a fight with three other inmates while in custody.

Sandra Baker, Mr Peacock’s ex-girlfriend, said in a statement, “They said to Geoffrey if he didn’t get the money from me to pay a mobile phone bill in prison then he would ‘get it’.”

Mr Mason said the three attackers were seen coming out of the same cell as Geoffrey but there is no evidence to link the crime to them.

The inquest heard how the tide was a long way out from the coast where Mr Peacock was walking, which was unusual, and he may have been making his way towards Hope Gap.

Police were searching for Mr Peacock after his release, as he had breached the terms of his license for failing to declare his address.

PC Georgia Wilson said in a statement, “I was looking for Mr Peacock at a Lewes address to do a check. The woman who answered the door said she had not seen Geoffrey for a long time and did not know he was out of prison.”

Jackie Peacock added, “Geoffrey was very close to his family and brothers, he was very caring towards them and had a lot of time for them.

“He was a very free-spirited person and could not stand being indoors. He lived in a tent in the woods and enjoyed his life.”

In a mental health report it was said Mr Peacock had no history of self-harm or suicidal tendencies.

In a GP’s statement it said he had trouble with substance misuse and was diagnosed with drugs psychosis.

Coroner Alan Craze said there was no evidence to point to mental health problems and recorded an open conclusion.

Members of the public with any information can contact police on 101 immediately.