Pensioner fell eight storeys to his death, inquest hears

Roosevelt Court, St Leonards
Roosevelt Court, St Leonards

A PENSIONER died after falling out of the window of his St Leonards flat.

Peter Larkin, 77, of Roosevelt Court, Stonehouse Drive, suffered fatal injuries after landing on a wooden fence panel on July 1.

An inquest on Wednesday heard he lived on the eighth floor and fell almost 80ft.

A post mortem examination revealed that Mr Larkin sustained fractures to his ribs, legs and arms, as well as bruising following the fall.

Neighbour Barry Smeath was outside having a cigarette when he saw Mr Larkin fall at around 7am.

He said: “I heard a noise like someone screaming and for some reason looked above me and saw a man with his arms out wide falling to the ground.

“I was in a state of shock as it all happened so quickly.”

Mr Smeath said Mr Larkin, a retired mechanic, was a ‘private man’ who spoke rarely to neighbours.

Pamela Bradford, second cousin, said: “Peter was a kind-hearted man and when he knew I had kidney failure, he asked his doctor whether he could give me one of his kidneys.” She added he had lived in Roosevelt Court for 26 years.

PC Paul Elrick, who attended the scene, said he saw a chair up against the windowsill by the window in Mr Larkin’s flat. He added: “His lifestyle was quite insular and no one seemed to know much about him.”

PC Elrick said no suicide notes were left at the flat.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded an open verdict.

He said: “This was more probably a suicide rather than an accidental fall but the amount of evidence available is not enough to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to take his own life.”