In­tox­i­cated woman died af­ter fall from 11th floor

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Cath­rina Hulse Staff Re­porter Bianca Gol­bourne-Thomas

AMOTHER-OF-THREE who died more than a week af­ter plum­met­ing from the 11th floor of a Birm­ing­ham city cen­tre tower block, died ac­ci­den­tally, a coro­ner has ruled.

Bianca Martina Gol­bourne-Thomas, who was 25, was more than twoand-a-half times the drink drive limit and had taken ec­stasy and co­caine, said Louise Hunt, the coro­ner for Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull.

The 25-year-old sus­tained trau­matic in­juries which led to mul­ti­ple or­gan fail­ure in the Au­gust 6 fall and she died sev­eral days later on Au­gust 15.

The in­quest at Birm­ing­ham Coro­ner’s Court heard that Miss Gol­bourne-Thomas, who lived in Oak Court, Lee Bank, had gone to her boyfriend Michael Joyce’s 11th floor flat in Cleve­land Tower, over­look­ing Hol­loway Head, just af­ter mid­night on Au­gust 6.

Miss Gol­bourne-Thomas had ar­rived at the flat with a bot­tle of vodka which she con­tin­ued to drink and the in­quest heard from Mr Joyce that she was ‘tipsy’.

Mr Joyce said the pair had been a cou­ple for eight months. He said on the night she fell, Miss Gol­bourneThomas was ‘drunk more than usual’.

“We ate some food and we were chill­ing and watch­ing TV. She was drink­ing,” he said. “She said she was go­ing to see her daugh­ter and I thought she was jok­ing be­cause of how drunk she was. I thought she was OK and she went to sit on the bal­cony, we would usu­ally sit out there.

“I was get­ting a cig­a­rette and try­ing to get her to come in as it was cold and then I heard a noise like a bang. I stepped out and Bianca wasn’t there. The chair had moved. I cal­lled 999 and I thought she might have fell off.”

But wit­ness Brian Suf­folk told the hear­ing he saw Bianca fall from the tower block af­ter hear­ing the cou­ple ar­gue. He said he heard foul lan­guage when he went his car at around mid­night.

Det Insp Vanessa Eyles, of West Mid­lands Po­lice, said Mr Joyce was ini­tially ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of at­tempted mur­der but was later re­leased.

She added: “There was no in­di­ca­tion of a strug­gle.”

Ms Hunt said she had heard two very dif­fer­ent ac­counts.

She told the in­quest : “In the ab­sence of any other ev­i­dence and be­cause she was un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol, I sadly think she may have fallen. The bal­cony did not show any signs of a dis­tur­bance and there is no ev­i­dence of an ar­gu­ment tak­ing place.

“She had in­ad­ver­tently back­wards while in­tox­i­cated.” fallen

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> Cleve­land Tower in the city cen­tre

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