Balcony fall teen drank a lot

Last updated 11:13 24/05/2012
Dushan Saddlier Pouao
Dushan Saddlier Pouao died after falling from the Soho Apartments.

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A 18-year-old who fell to his death from a Wellington apartment's eight-storey up balcony was six times drunker than the legal limit for a youth driver at the time, an inquest has heard.

Dushan Saddlier Pouao, 18, was found lying beside a ground-floor fire exit of the Soho Apartments in central Wellington on June 4, 2010.

Pouao, from Porirua, was drinking with about six other friends in an eighth-floor flat before he disappeared about 11pm.

Nearby neighbours heard a loud bang about 11.45pm but thought it was an earthquake.

Police examination found a dent in the railing on the balcony on the floor below and Pouao's fingerprints were found.

Detective Inspector Paul Basham said it appeared he fell, hit the balcony below, before losing his grip and falling on to a roof before rolling off into the narrow alleyway where he was found the next day.

His blood alcohol level was 203 milligrams, the youth limit for driving was 30. It is now 0.

Basham said Pouao had been at a party and drinking beer, whiskey and bourbon and cola drinks.  He and others had gone back to a liquor store three times to stock up.

During the evening another resident had noticed two men on the building opposite a walkway on the Soho Apartments where Pouao was standing, encouraging him to step across.

Others had seen him urinating from the balcony.

Basham said there was no evidence of foul play. It appeared to be a tragic accident involving alcohol, peer pressure and a multi-storey apartment.

A security fence has now been put between the buildings.

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- The Dominion Post

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