Teenager died after falling from wall at Magaluf complex, inquest told

An 18-year-old died after falling over a wall in an apartment complex in Magaluf just weeks after another Briton sustained fatal injuries in a similar incident, an inquest heard.

Thomas Channon, 18, was on holiday in the resort on the island of Majorca with seven friends to celebrate finishing their A-Levels in July last year.

His body was found in a courtyard at the Eden Roc apartment complex at about 10.30am on July 12, around six hours after he was last seen walking back to his nearby hotel by a friend.

Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard Mr Channon was discovered in a similar area to where Thomas Hughes, 20, from Wrexham in north Wales, was found dead the previous month.

Mr Channon’s family told the hearing that a temporary fence was erected on the walkway, which was at street level on one side but had a “sheer drop” of around seven floors or 50ft on the other, following his death.

Graeme Hughes, coroner for South Wales Central, said: “It is absolutely tragic that simple steps of erecting the temporary fence were not instigated following Thomas Hughes’ death in June 2018.

“These simple steps would have, in all probability, prevented Thomas Channon from meeting his death on July 12 2018.”

The inquest did not hear of the death of Natalie Cormack, 19, from West Kilbridge, Ayrshire, who died at the complex in April while trying to climb from one balcony to the other.

Mr Channon, from Rhoose, in the Vale of Glamorgan, arrived in Magaluf after taking a flight from Bristol with friends on the evening of July 10.

His friend Raied Jones, 19, told how the group had booked three rooms at the Hotel Florida, where they had all-inclusive food and drink.

On July 11, they ate dinner at the hotel before heading out to watch England play Croatia in the football World Cup semi-final.

They returned to the hotel for drinks then went to Alex’s Bar in Magaluf shortly before midnight.

Mr Channon was last seen at the bar, a 15-minute walk from Hotel Florida, by friends at 3am.

At about 4am, Mr Jones was walking a woman back to her accommodation when he saw Mr Channon approximately 20 metres from their hotel.

“I asked if he was OK and I asked ‘do you know the way to get back to the hotel?'” Mr Jones told the inquest.

“He said he was fine.”

Mr Jones said he had known Mr Channon for a long period of time and described him as a “hardworking, very nice boy”.

“I know when he is ridiculously drunk and out of control,” he said.

“If he was at that point, I would have walked him back to the hotel, no matter what.”

He added: “I felt that Tom had made his way all the way from the strip to the point where he was.

“I thought he was perfectly fine to make it 20 metres back to the hotel.”

CCTV footage showed Mr Channon lying on the ground at 3.58am but Mr Jones said he did not see his friend doing so.

The images, captured from the nearby Coral Playa hotel, showed Mr Channon getting up and walking at 4.08am.

Ceri Channon, Mr Channon’s mother, asked Mr Jones whether the group had received any “safety briefings” after arriving in Magaluf about what had happened to Mr Hughes.

He replied: “Nothing at all.”

Mrs Channon asked: “Nobody spoke to you and said that a young lad had fallen just down the road from you?”

He replied: “No.”

At 10.05am, police received a phone call stating that Mr Channon’s body had been found in the courtyard garden of the Eden Roc apartment complex.

A post-mortem examination found he died from blunt force injuries to the trunk, including a pelvic fracture.

He had not taken drugs and his alcohol level was 118mg in 100ml of blood. The legal limit for driving is 80mg.

Mr Hughes, who reached a narrative conclusion, said the events leading up to Mr Channon’s death were “unwitnessed”, but there was no evidence of third party involvement.

“Some time after 3am, he has endeavoured to return to his hotel alone,” Mr Hughes said.

“Due to intoxication and fatigue, he has likely become disorientated and erroneously entered the car park of a nearby apartment block.

“He has encountered a low wall that bordered a significant vertical drop below.

“For reasons unknown, he has travelled beyond the wall and fallen some distance. He has sustained catastrophic injuries.”

He said the “dangerous” drop from the wall would not have been clear to Mr Channon or any other first-time visitors to the car park.

The family of Mr Channon, a student at St David’s College in Cardiff, did not speak after the hearing.