Tributes to man whose Eastbourne death coroner says was an accident

A coroner concluded yesterday that Geoff Thomas's death was accidental
A coroner concluded yesterday that Geoff Thomas's death was accidental

Friends and loved ones shared kind words at an inquest yesterday (Thursday August 17) about a man who was found dead in Eastbourne in February.

The death of 42-year-old Geoffrey Edward Thomas (formally Barnes) who was found on the pavement outside a block of flats in the town was accidental, a coroner has concluded.

The body showed clear signs of a fall according to Detective Sergeant Daniel Duggan who was on the night shift when Mr Thomas’s body was discovered.

The coroner believed Mr Thomas had been trying to climb into his flat when he fell to his death, the court heard.

Liverpool-born Mr Thomas, who had recently moved to Kent Court, Avard Crescent, struggled with drug addiction all his life but had worked hard to get clean, the inquest heard.

The pathologist’s report noted heroin, cocaine and other medication in Mr Thomas’s blood, suggesting he had relapsed.

Mr Thomas’s foster mother Kimberlee Banks said, “As a child he was popular and well-liked, a keen Liverpool supporter and a good swimmer.”

Ella Ainsworth, Mr Thomas’s girlfriend, and close friend Bob Wyllie said, “Geoff loved winding everyone up, but all who knew him loved him. Though no longer in our lives he is forever in our hearts.”