Haverhill: “Unanswerable questions” still surround man’s fall from Macedonian hotel window

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean

Thursday, July 10, 2014
10:04 AM

The death of a Suffolk accountant who fell from a Macedonian hotel window remains a mystery after an inquest yesterday.

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Thomas Bumpstead, who was born and raised in Haverhill, died in May last year after falling from the third floor of the VIP Hotel in Skopje during a holiday.

The 39-year-old, who lived and worked in London, travelled regularly to unusual destinations around the world and had made plans for another holiday a couple of months later.

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded an open conclusion at yesterday’s inquest in Bury St Edmunds, given the “unanswered and unanswerable questions” surrounding Mr Bumpstead’s fall.

“What we don’t have a clear understanding of is how the fall from the window in Macedonia occurred,” said Dr Dean.

“We know that there’s not another person involved, we know the door was locked from the inside, we know there are no suspicious circumstances from that point of view.

“Equally, I would also note this was a young man who was clearly much-loved by family, very popular amongst his friends and work colleagues, and who had been making plans for the future. We clearly have unanswered and unanswerable questions – how he came to fall from the window itself.”

A taxi driver discovered Mr Bumpstead’s body about three metres away from the west wall of the hotel at around 1am on May 9, having only checked in the day before.

Mr Bumpstead had worked as an accountant for The Express newspaper for 15 years, and Dr Dean said he was a “seasoned traveller” who had gone on solo trips to unusual destinations across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

He had planned a trip to Armenia in July, and his family discovered travel documents and a language guide for this trip at his home in Tottenham, as well as cards for future family birthdays.

Dr Dean also said Mr Bumpstead had conversations with his family in the lead-up to his holiday about his future living and work plans.

“It is clear that he was looking forward and making a very detailed range of plans for the future,” Dr Dean said.

“Although there’s nothing that really gives us any indication of the tragedy that was to come, or any information about that, it is clear to those that knew him that he was very well regarded in all walks.”

A post-mortem examination at West Suffolk Hospital found he had died of head injuries.

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