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Monday, June 6, 2016
Student plunges 60ft to his death from bathroom window after getting 'hammered' with dad
A student plunged 60ft to his death from a bathroom window after getting "hammered" on red wine with his dad, an inquest heard.
Andreas Christou, who was studying English and history at Edinburgh University, died after an evening out with his father, Christos, who was visiting from London.
The 20-year-old, from Norbury, in South London, had "very high alcohol levels" in his blood after imbibing red wine over dinner.
His dad said in a written statement to Croydon Coroner's Court how he had "never seen his son drink red wine before" and had "tried to stop him before realising how drunk he was".
Mr Christou took his son back to his student digs in a fourth floor Victorian flat, but he passed out on the floor.
Housemate Isabel Jahnke told how Andreas's father started speaking to him in Greek and gently slapped his cheeks to try and rouse him.
She told the inquest: "He never showed signs that he recognised me, which to me suggests he was hammered."
The court heard how some time later Andreas woke up and ran to the bathroom saying he was feeling sick.
He locked himself in, but after not coming out for a "long time" and not responding to his housemates when they asked him to open the door, Ms Jahnke's boyfriend kicked the door open.
His housemates, however, found the bathroom empty, with the large sash window fully open.
The inquest heard how the 20-year-old student had fallen from the fourth-story window, between 50ft-60ft high, and was rushed to hospital with "catastrophic head and neck injuries" where he was pronounced dead.
Friend Lila Grandgeorge said Andreas was an "occasional drinker, who tended to binge drink" if he was going out.
She told the inquest: "I really can't explain it. It was just sudden madness."
Coroner Selena Lynch, recording an open conclusion - after ruling out suicide or an accident - said there were no drugs in the student's system, but that a toxicology report showed "very high alcohol levels".
Speaking to Andreas's mum Lena Christou, the coroner said it must was "difficult to know what on earth was going through his mind".
She said: "There is no room for this being an accident, but it would be wrong for to say this was a case of suicide.
"I just don't have enough evidence.
"He's gone to some trouble going out of the window.
"You would need to be quite nimble to go from that toilet seat out to that window.
"Some people do get very distressed when they drinking and are just not in charge of themselves - he was highly intoxicated and may not have understood the nature and quality in his acts," the Croydon Guardian reported.
She added: "It is an absolute tragedy and I am sure his death will stay with you forever as a family. But I do hope in time you will remember him and happy and heartier times.
"There is no suggestion he was ever conscious at the scene, which I hope might be some comfort for the family."