Family pay tribute to St Albans car park fall man

Patricia Bannon hands over a cheque to Centre manager Anna White

Patricia Bannon hands over a cheque to Centre manager Anna White - Credit: Archant

THE GRIEVING family of a dog-lover who died after falling from a St Albans multi-storey car park have gained a sense of “inner peace” by donating money in his memory to an animal centre.

Paul Bannon, aged 45, of Shenley Lane in London Colney, died at The Maltings car park, New Kent Road, on April 13 this year.

At an inquest last Thursday assistant Coroner Edward Solomons said the distribution worker died from multiple traumatic injuries.

The inquest, reopened after being adjourned on April 16, was told a toxicology report showed no evidence of drug use.

Pc Chris Kouwenberg told the court police and ambulance services were called to the scene at 5.38pm. An air ambulance also attended.

The police officer told the inquest it was assumed that Paul had fallen from the top floor of the car park.

Police investigations showed there was no indication of third party involvement, he added.

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The inquest was told Paul had been described by Dr Iain Dow as a “troubled young man”.

In a narrative verdict, Mr Solomons said he was “unable to reach a conclusion” as to what Paul’s intentions were on the day he died.

After the inquest Paul’s mum, Patricia Bannon, a former nurse, said she did not think her “loving” son realised how popular he was.

She said: “His workmates always called him ‘Champ’ because he went out of his way to help.”

Paul’s sister, Zoe, described him as a “lovely, kind man who would always go out of his way to help others, which was shown by the number of people who attended his funeral”.

Patricia said the family organised a donation in his name to Southridge Animal Centre as he was very good with animals, and when not working in distribution for Booker’s, in Hatfield, led a life which revolved around rescue dogs.

Zoe said: “We felt he was a soft touch for the puppy dog eyes that peered at him through the bars.”

His former co-workers supported a collection for the donation, which resulted in Paul’s family giving a cheque for £855 to the RSPCA animal centre in Potters Bar last Friday.

Patricia explained that the family had for many years provided a home to rescue dogs, most of which have come from Southridge.

She added: “Paul was a natural with animals. He was six foot four, a big guy, and dogs regarded him as an alpha male.”

In a touching tribute to her brother Zoe said: “It gives us as his family a sense of inner peace knowing that the money donated will not only go to a worthy cause but one that Paul held close to his heart and that his unfortunate end wasn’t totally in vain.”

Patricia added: “We are doing something positive in his memory.”