Man with history of sleepwalking fell to his death from hotel balcony in Rhodes

PUBLISHED: 19:14 02 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010

Chris Peck with his wife Gemma on their wedding day

Chris Peck with his wife Gemma on their wedding day

A 25-year-old man with a history of sleepwalking after drinking alcohol plunged to his death from a hotel balcony on Rhodes. An inquest today (Tuesday) heard that Chris Peck, of Seymour Road, St Albans, fell from the balcony on May 21 last year just two d

A 25-year-old man with a history of sleepwalking after drinking alcohol plunged to his death from a hotel balcony on Rhodes.

An inquest today (Tuesday) heard that Chris Peck, of Seymour Road, St Albans, fell from the balcony on May 21 last year just two days before he was due to attend his sister Wendy's wedding. He and his wife were with some 70 relatives and friends who were combining the wedding with a holiday on the island.

Herts Coroner Edward Thomas explained that the men and women split up for the night for their respective stag and hen parties with the men returning to the Hotel Daniel in Kalathos near Lindos before the women.

Mr Thomas said: "Some men went to bed but Chris stayed up until around 2am. When his wife Gemma went to their bedroom at 3.30am she saw that Chris was fast asleep."

The next anyone heard was at 5.30am when the hotel clerk reported having heard a loud thud but he did not discover Chris's lifeless body underneath the balcony until 5.50am.

A forensic surgeon gave the cause of death as head injuries caused by a fall from a great height and ruled out any possibility that he could have been pushed from the balcony.

Chris's blood levels showed a reading of around two-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit.

Both the dead man's family and his GP told the inquest that he had a history of sleepwalking after drinking alcohol but was otherwise in excellent health.

Mr Thomas, recording a verdict of accidental death, expressed his condolences to the family and assured them that Chris would not have survived even if his body had been found earlier.

After the accident, his sister's wedding ceremony was cancelled and she later flew home with her parents, Greg and Valerie Peck, to their house in How Wood, St Albans.

Chris's widow Gemma, then aged 23, said at the time: "I am so proud to have been his wife and I wouldn't change one second of our time together. He was my soulmate and I will love him forever."

The couple met at Townsend School but did not go out with each other until much later. Warehouse manager Chris proposed to Gemma when she was 21 by presenting her with a Jack Russell dog called Scampi wearing a collar round its neck popping the question.

Chris is also survived by his younger brother Robert. The family were at the inquest to hear the verdict.

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