An inquest has concluded that a teenager from Devon who fell to his death was trying to take a short cut home after a night out.
Sam Mariott slipped and fell after he'd been out drinking with friends in his home town of Sidmouth on the 25th of February.
An inquest heard how the drunk teenager had tried to scale a hotel wall but fell, suffering a fatal head wound.
Guests at the Sidholme Hotel in the resort said they heard a ‘loud thud’ at 3.30am – but Sam was not discovered lying on the ground for two more hours.
Despite attempts to save him using CPR by hotel guests who were doctors and nurses, he died.
His mum Debbie Marriott said the 19 year old had been his ‘normal happy self’ as they watched rugby on the TV on Saturday, February 25th.
She said it was not unusual for Sam to go out and stay out until late before returning home to sleep in the early hours of the next morning.
She said he would walk through the hotel grounds because it was a short cut to their home. But at night the gates were locked, Sam's Mum said he may have been on ‘auto pilot’ as he tried to climb over the wall to get home.
She said like many 19 year olds he drank alcohol but Sam ‘did not know when to stop’.
She said Sam was a popular lad with a girlfriend who planned to travel after university. She said his only fault was his laziness where he was ‘always looking for an easy way out’.
Friends said they saw Sam in the early hours as he walked home and he was drunk but still ‘chatty and in a good mood’.
Det Sgt Mark Aldershaw said he found ‘scuff marks’ high up on the hotel wall. The impressions from the footwear matched Sam’s shoes.
The detective said: "It seems to me that Sam tried to climb the wall to the hotel while intoxicated in the middle of the night on his route home."
The Devon coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland concluded his death was accidental.
She said: "I am satisfied that in the early hours, approximately 3.30am Sam attempted to climb a wall at the Sidholme hotel and fell injuring is head fatally. Alcohol was a factor.”