Inquest Into Hotel Balcony Death
10 May 2013, 12:21
A young holiday maker from Hertfordshire plunged to her death from her hotel balcony just hours after arriving in Majorca.
23 year old Charlotte Faris had arrived late at night in the resort of Magaluf and, with her friend Kayleigh Brown, the pair had then gone out drinking in a bar next to the hotel.
An inquest into the death of Charlotte was told she may have been trying to climb from the balcony of her room onto a neighbouring balcony close by, when she lost her balance and fell over the edge.
Charlotte, who lived in Valley Road, Codicote near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, died from head injuries caused in the fall from her third storey room.
She also suffered multiple fractures and soft tissue injuries.
Charlotte and Kayleigh left the UK on May 4th last year for a holiday together at the Teix Hotel in Magaluf.
They knew the hotel and resort, having been there before.
The court heard that flight delays meant they didn't get into their hotel until late that night.
Kayleigh told the inquest that soon after dropping off their cases in their double room, they went to a bar next door where they spent the next 2 - 3 hours drinking vodka shots and lager.
Deputy Coroner for Hertfordshire, Graham Danbury, was told the pair had been drinking all day.
Kayleigh said they had first started drinking at the airport in the UK as they waited for their flight.
Then, on board the plane, they had drunk more.
The inquest was told that by the time the women had left the bar in the early hours of May 5th to return to the hotel, both were "merry" and Charlotte was feeling sick.
Kayleigh told the inquest that she remembered entering the room and then going to the bathroom.
She said when she came back into the room, Charlotte was not there and she looked out on the balcony.
The inquest heard that Charlotte was found directly below the balcony in the early hours of that morning.
Kayleigh described the railing around the edge of the balcony as coming up to Charlotte's hip.
Mr Danbury recorded a verdict of accident death.
He said "It's quite clear from the evidence that, by the time of her death, Charlotte and Kayleigh had consumed a significant amount of alcohol over a sustained period."
Mr Danbury said he was drawn to the conclusion that Charlotte had gone out onto the balcony on her own in a drunken state and may have tried to climb onto another balcony close by or leaned over the railing.
He said she had then fallen over the edge, sustaining the fatal injuries.
The coroner said it was another "tragic instance" of people going on holiday and consuming vast amounts of alcohol.
"Her ability to judge what was safe and what was not safe was impaired by alcohol and, in that state, she went over the edge of the balcony causing her death."