Tragic death of son, 25, who fell 40ft after failing to see poorly-lit warning

A man who tragically fell 40ft to his death during a night out gone wrong has been described as an “absolutely brilliant son” by his heartbroken family.

Rory Baldwin, 25, was on a night on in Rochester on July 31, but took a wrong turn after leaving his friends.

An inquest at Archbishops Palace in Maidstone yesterday heard how he fell, after jumping over a 3 metre fence – the warning sign of the dangers behind the fence was, apparently, covered up, according to Kent Live.

Kent Police's Detective Sergeant Matthew Childs told assistant coroner Catherine Wood how Rory, who lived in Surrey, had taken a train to Rochester on July 30 to socialise with some friends before an event held that weekend.

He said: “”Rory drank throughout the evening with a friend before reaching out to other friends who were in Rochester high street.

“Two of the friends did not want to walk and got a taxi, while Rory, and a group of others, did walk.”

Having announced he was going to go and find a toilet, he left the group.

One more phone call from Rory to confirm he would meet back up with the group took place – but he never returned.

He was reported missing the next evening, and just 50 minutes later, 7pm on July 31, Kent Police were told, by a resident on Oliver Twist Close, that a trainer in the gutter of a neighbouring property had been found – it matched that of the pair worn by Mr Baldwin that day.

Det Supt Childs said: “It appears that Rory took a wrong turn after entering Fort Clarence Gardens.

“On the edge of the Gardens there is a fence which is about three metres in height with a sign on top of it warning of danger.

“Rory either jumped the fence or walked through the gate to the side of it.”
A poor-lit, and partially covered sign did read “keep out, steep drop,” but it is now clear that Mr Baldwin failed to see it.

Tracy Nembhard of London and Quadrant Housing Trust, who own the land said: “We have ordered six new signs which are reflective and we also plan to position one of the signs before you would reach the fence.

“We have reached an agreement with the council to access the surrounding land since the death and plan to make inspections every six months.

“The first of these is planned for December, but we would inspect the area when erecting signs in four to six weeks.

Karen Baldwin, Mr Baldwin's mum said: “He was an absolutely brilliant son.

“He had spent two years in Canada with his brother and came back due to COVID.

“He had so many people that loved him and had secured a really good job at Thames Water.

“He had a really good social life, he was just the best.”

The death has been ruled as accidental.

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