Girl plunged to her death trying to climb into boy's room on post exam trip to Majorca
Published 30/09/2011 | 11:46
A talented student who plunged to her death from a Magaluf hotel had been attempting to climb into a male friend’s room when she fell, an inquest has heard.
Privately educated Grace Ford, 17, had travelled to the resort of Magaluf to celebrate the end of her exams in July last year.
But she suffered horrific injuries after falling more than 90ft when she and fellow holidaymaker, Edward Soppett, 18, attempted to sneak back to his hotel room late at night.
An inquest heard that Miss Ford from Lancashire and Mr Soppett, from Buckinghamshire had been turned away from the apartment block where he was staying by the night porter as the hotel operated a strict no-entry policy for non-guests.
It is thought the pair then found a side window which they believed led to the hotel’s reception area.
Miss Ford, a pupil at the £9,000 a year Kirkham Grammar School, climbed up to the window but tragically it opened into a dark shaft which plummeted 90ft down on to an internal patio area.
The inquest heard that after Miss Ford fell, Mr Soppett returned to his room and went to sleep.
Blackpool coroner, Anne Hind told the inquest: “Miss Ford had probably been helped to climb through this window. We can’t be certain of that, but looking at the height of it, it looks like that is what happened.
“Almost immediately after, the nightwatchman heard a bang. Mr Soppett walked into reception and said, ‘What has happened?’
“He was seen proceeding to go through reception and go to his bedroom. When the police went to question him, he was in bed and fast asleep.”
Mr Soppett was arrested on suspicion of failing to report an accident but after appearing in court was released without charge.
Miss Ford who had been hoping to study at Leeds University, suffered internal bleeding and catastrophic fractures to her legs and pelvis in the fall and had to be placed in a medically induced coma.
Her devastated parents, Suzanne and Chris – a successful businessman – flew out to be at her bedside, but she died 12 days after the fall, when an infection set in.
Yesterday following the inquest a family friend, described Miss Ford’s death as a “tragic waste”.
Steven Hall, who also flew out to Majorca following the accident, said: “She was a stunning girl in every respect. She was a straight A student and a wonderful athlete. “Everything she did was to the best of her ability. She never did anything by half. It's just a waste.”
The cause of death was given as complications due to multiple injuries received in the fall.
In recording a verdict of accidental death, Miss Hind said: “She was 17 years old, which is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of all.
“Her short life has ended because of this terrible thing. All this promise she had of a wonderful life was brought to an end.”