Tragic Karl could not have survived cliff fall, inquest told

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An inquest into the death of a popular footballer who was found at the bottom of cliffs in South Shields has heard that his injuries were ‘unsurvivable’.

The body of Karl David Carson, 26, was found at the bottom of cliffs at Marsden, South Shields, in the early hours of July 6, last year.

Karl Carson

Karl Carson

The father-of-two, of Arnold Street, East Boldon, died after escaping from police custody.

He had been at an engagement party at the Marsden Grotto pub, when a fight broke out in the car park.

Police officers were called at 12.34am and Mr Carson, who played football for Wearside League outfit Boldon CA, was arrested in connection with the fight, and placed inside a police vehicle.

But as officers went to arrest a second man, Mr Carson escaped from the vehicle and ran off.

It is likely that he would not have survived regardless of how quickly he was found.

Dr Jennifer Bolton, pathologist

A search was carried out to find him, but tragically at 1.03am his body was found at the bottom of Marsden cliffs.

The air ambulance was called and Mr Carson was given CPR treatment by officers until paramedics arrived, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

An inquest began this morning at Gateshead Civic Centre. It is being led by South Tyneside coroner Terence Carney.

Dr Jennifer Bolton, a Home Office pathologist, who carried out the post mortem examination on Mr Carson, told the hearing that he was killed by a “blunt head injury”.

She said he had a number of “blunt force injuries”, including bruises, grazes and lacerations to his arms, chest, legs and head.

The most serious of his injuries was an “extensive fracture” to his skull and a bleed around the brain.

She also said there was no evidence that he had been gripped or that he had handcuffs on.

Dr Bolton also gave the findings of the toxicology report, which showed that Mr Carson had 223mg of alcohol in his blood, around three times the drink-drive limit.

She said that it was not possible to tell how intoxicated he would have been, because people react differently to alcohol.

Dr Bolton said: “His injuries were consistent with a fall from a great height and are such that he would have been essentially, instantaneously unconscious.

“He would not have regained consciousness and he would have died quickly. It is likely that he would not have survived regardless of how quickly he was found.”

The hearing continues.