A MAN died after falling up to 50ft down a cliff after drinking and taking drugs at a town’s festival, an inquest heard.
The hearing into the death of Jamie Guy was told the talented photographer had been at Seaham Carnival and had been drinking and had taken cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.
That night the 25-year-old and friends Edward Talbot and Danny Plumber sat on a cliff in a fenced-off area, dangling their feet above the town’s dock as they smoked cannabis and watched the stars.
He decided to stay at the spot as the others went for a walk, but when his pals returned 15 to 20 minutes later, they saw Jamie’s body in the water below.
The hearing, held at Chester-le-Street Magistrates’ Court, was told that they tried to save him by jumping in to the water, pulling him out and giving him first aid, with a police officer joining in the effort when help arrived.
But Jamie, who lived in Cook Crescent, Murton, and whose family lives in Seaham, was pronounced dead at the scene in the early hours of August 1.
A post-mortem examination found he died of a traumatic head injury and emersion in water, with evidence of recreational use of the three drugs and drink found in his system, although not at levels to cause his death.
Detective Constable Lindsay Brown, of Peterlee CID, led inquiries in to the death.
She said scuffing was found on the heel of a shoe which had come off one of Jamie’s feet, which indicated he fell.
She added: “He was sat with his feet over the cliff, maybe he fell asleep or forgot where he was and stood up.
“He went feet first in, causing an abrasion to the bottom of the sole.
“There was also an abrasion to his torso, as he fell from a significant height.”
She told deputy coroner Brenda Davidson it had been hoped CCTV from the nearby Sure Start centre had captured what happened, but the system did not cover the area where the incident occurred.
Deputy coroner Brenda Davidson said the circumstances described by Det Con Brown led her to conclude the death was an accident.
Friends and family of Jamie held a tribute event in his honour at The Knack Club in Eastlea, Seaham, on Sunday, with the £2,000-plus raised to be donated to the Huntington Disease Association.
Prints of photographs by Jamie were exhibited and sold as part of the event, which also featured live music.