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Coroner unable to conclude why man fell from cliffs in Dover

A coroner could not confirm how a man came to fall to his death from cliffs.

Joanne Andrews did not have the evidence to decide whether Matthew Rainbird's death was an accident or whether he had taken his own life.

The body was found on the shoreline between Dover and St Margaret's
The body was found on the shoreline between Dover and St Margaret's

Mrs Andrews, area coroner, told an inquest today: "On the balance of probabilities I can't record this as suicide or an accident.

"It is not clear how he fell from a height into the water."

She gave a narrative conclusion making this point.

Mr Rainbird's body was found on the shore between Dover and St Margaret's-at-Cliffe, which has the White Cliffs directly above it, on September 7 last year.

Matthew Rainbird, 48, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, had originally been reported missing on August 31.

With the help of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras his Peugeot van was traced to the county's M25 Thurrock Services five days later.

The inquest heard that two police officers found him in the vehicle and they spoke to him to check on his welfare.

Mr Rainbird told them he was fine but was stressed from work.

They offered to get him food but he declined and said he would be going home.

They concluded that there was no evidence that he was a risk to himself so could not detain him.

The inquest hearing, at the Archbishop's palace in Maidstone, had resumed to hear more evidence following a hearing on November 17.

That hearing was told Mr Rainbird had died from "catastrophic" head injuries.

A toxicology report had said that he had 188 milligrams of alcohol in his system per 100 millilitres of urine. The drink-drive limit is 107 mg.

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