Leeds city centre death plunge mystery

A CORONER recorded an open verdict at an inquest into the death of a successful young entrepreneur who plunged to his death from his Leeds city centre flat balcony.

Matthew McKeown, 25, fell from the balcony of his 11th floor rented apartment at the Gateway North Complex in Crown Point Road on May 15.

An inquest at Wakefield heard the flat door was locked and police ruled there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr McKeown's death.

He had not indicated to anyone he planned to harm himself and no traces of drugs or alcohol were found in examinations of blood samples.

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Witness Susan Macpherson told police in a statement she was walking on Marsh Lane when she heard a noise and turned round to see a man laid on the grass verge outside the flats' entrance near the Etap hotel.

She dialled 999 and paramedics arrived but, tried in vain to revive him.

The court heard that when police examined his laptop computer they found evidence research had been carried out on sites related to "heights" and "jumping."

A post mortem revealed he died from shock, haemorrhage and multiple injuries.

The former Leeds Metropolitan University student used to work as a supervisor in Marks and Spencer in Leeds and later as a conveyancer.

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He also ran a successful promotions business which involved organising club events and distributing flyers.

The court heard Mr McKeown was "deeply loved" by his family in his home town of Middlesbrough and had not given them any cause to be concerned in the days and weeks leading to the tragedy.

Recording an open verdict, West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff said: "What I cannot explain is how he fell or allowed himself to fall from the balcony.

Joanne Mjadzelics

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