Seaford: Pensioner’s fatal roof fall mystery

A GRANDFATHER from Seaford may have stepped onto guttering before falling from a roof to his death, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Clemente had been putting up wires on the roof to deter seagulls and pigeons at the back of The Steyne flats, where he lived with his wife of 47-years in Steyne Road.

Neighbours heard Carol Clemente’s screams after she realised her 69-year-old spouse had fallen on to concrete below.

An inquest into his death at Eastbourne Magistrates Court last week heard the Italian had been a builder and was therefore used to working on roofs.

Mr Clemente, who was described by his wife as someone who had ‘a love of life and his family’, died at the scene.

The pair had been drinking coffee on the morning of July 29 before Mr Clemente went to work outside.

Later on she heard a bang and, having rushed to the window, saw him lying face down.

A statement read on her behalf said, “He had been up and down roofs all his life, I’m at a loss to comprehend how he fell.”

The inquest heard he had been on the roof two days previously without any problems.

Sussex Air Ambulance, police and ambulance crews attended after his fall on July 29 but despite resuscitation attempts Mr Clemente died at the scene.

A post mortem showed he had a large injury to his head and several skull fractures.

Police spoke to residents and people at the scene but no-one saw him fall. Guttering clips were found on the floor.

The inquest also heard that Mr Clemente had been building a new house in Seaford for him and his wife to move into.

Detective Sergeant David Ashton Tye was asked by the Coroner Alan Craze if it was possible that Mr Clemente had put his weight on the guttering, to which he replied, “That’s potentially what’s happened.”

Mrs Clemente added, “I think his mind was elsewhere and for a second he just fell.”

Recording a verdict of misadventure Mr Craze said, “I think this is a mechanical fall, there’s a slip or his weight has gone into the wrong place.”