Tributes paid as Eastbourne father found dead at Birling Gap

Ian Sperling-Tyler was sadly found dead at Birling Gap earlier this year
Ian Sperling-Tyler was sadly found dead at Birling Gap earlier this year

Mystery surrounds the death of a loving Eastbourne father and former governor at Moira House.

Described as a ‘lovely’ man, Ian Sperling-Tyler, of St John’s Road, was tragically found dead at Birling Gap on April 13, aged 48.

At an inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (December 6), the coroner could not say for sure how the father – a prominent accountant at Deloitte – came about his death.

Speaking afterwards, Ian’s father said he was a ‘lovely’ son, “He loved his children, the children loved him. We can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Mr Sperling-Tyler had struggled with his mental health for a number of years, the inquest heard, and he had been suffering withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants at the time of his death.

A statement from his wife Beata Sperling-Tyler said, “Ian has been ill for some time. He felt his brain had been poisoned by drugs. 
“He suffered various side effects from the withdrawal. He found it difficult to open his eyes on a morning and couldn’t see movement.”

In the months leading up to his death she said he went through a significant weight loss; Mrs Sperling-Tyler said he was ‘painfully thin’ and ‘gaunt’.

On the day he died, she said, “When he left the house he kissed his children goodbye and said he was going for a drive.”

Detective Inspector Simon Yates said at 12.10pm on April 13 he received reports a body had been found at the base of the cliffs to the right of the steps by a young man and his friends.

Tragically it was identified as Mr Sperling-Tyler.

Coroner Alan Craze said, “Suicide must never be presumed it must be proven. An event like this will never be forgotten. I understand how devastating something like this will be.”

He expressed his ‘heartfelt’ sympathies to the family and recorded an open conclusion.

A newsletter released by Moira House following Mr Sperling Tyler’s death said, “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of one of our former governors and current parent, Mr Ian Sperling-Tyler.

“Ian was a governor for Moira House for two years from 2016 until 2018 and his hard work and commitment to the school remain his legacy to our community.

“We know he touched the lives of many of our community members and we are grateful to have known him.

“Our thoughts are with his beloved family at this very sad time.”