Partygoer fell to his death

KATIE CHAPMAN
Last updated 11:28 04/03/2014

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Partygoers had been jumping between an eight-storey Wellington apartment and a neighbouring building before an intoxicated guest fell to his death, a coroner has found.

Porirua teenager Dushan Saddlier-Pouao, 18, died from multiple blunt force injuries after ''accidentally falling to his death'', coroner Ian Smith said in findings released today.

Saddlier-Pouao had been attending a party at Wellington's Soho Apartments on Taranaki St on July 3, 2010.

Partygoers had been drinking beer and pre-mixed bourbon and cola bought in two trips to alcohol outlets.

Mr Saddlier-Pouao was also part of a group which made an extra trip to buy a bottle of Jim Beam and Lift for mixing, about 8.30pm.

When he was found he had an alcohol level of 203 milligrams per litre of blood.

The legal adult driving limit is 80mg, and for teenagers it is zero.

Exactly how he fell could not be determined, because no-one witnessed the fall and his body was not found until 8.45 the morning after the party.

However, the findings stated that a witness saw Mr Saddlier-Pouao being encouraged to make the jump to a neighbouring building earlier in the evening, and ''at least three of the partygoers that night had stepped between the two buildings, one of them later admitting that it was not something that he would have attempted sober''.

The gap is 75 centimetres wide at its narrowest point. 

There was evidence Mr Saddlier-Pouao had struck the roof of the neighbouring building ''with some force, leaving impressions in the oxidised rubber surface and transferring this black rubber to his face and hands''.

There was also a new dent on the handrail of the balcony below the apartment where Mr Saddlier-Pouao was a party guest, and his fingerprints were found on the railing.

''The prints ... indicate that the grip was lost and the hand pulled across the top of the railing towards the outside.''

The findings said the Soho building manager had increased security on weekends and erected a security fence to prevent people walking between the two buildings.

The coroner also noted concern about the ''staggering amount of facilities within a city the size of Wellington supplying alcohol to the public'' and that police believed his level of intoxication 'played a significant role in his death''.

''I believe that this is a matter that needs continual monitoring,'' he found.

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- The Dominion Post

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