Fareham teenager died falling from a car park roof after a party

Emergency services
Emergency services

HAPPY, selfless and kind is how a family have remembered their son who died after falling from a multi-storey car park.

Cams Hill School pupil James Tait was found at Osborn Road multi-storey car park on the morning of February 15 this year after a party where he had drunk alcohol and taken drugs including MDMA, Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

His family, including his parents Natalie and David Tait, attended the inquest to hear the conclusion of their 15-year-old son’s death.

Coroner Lincoln Brookes said: ‘I express my deepest condolences, this was a tragic incident.’

The court was told after a family meal at their home in Fareham, James’ parents woke up around 1.30am to find their son was not in his bedroom.

Mrs Tait said: ‘Dave said “James is not in his room”. He ran downstairs and the garage door was ajar and his bike was gone.’

His parents discovered James had left the house to attend a friend’s party in Palmerston Avenue.

Mrs Tait said: ‘We said “get home now”. He sounded a bit carefree on the phone. It was unlike him and I’ve never had any trouble from him before.

‘He told me he had messaged to say he was at a party but the message had not delivered.

‘If he had asked us to go to the party then we would have said yes but not at 10 o’clock.’ 

The court heard friends at the party said James, one of the three brothers, was in ‘good spirits’ when he left after being told to come home by his parents.

Karen Constant was rough sleeping in the car park near Ferneham Hall when she was awoken by someone coming up the stairs.

Her witness statement was read out in court: ‘A young man came in and he was running up the stairs. He looked panic-stricken. I said “you startled me” or something similar and the young man apologised to me.’

Pathologist Doctor Adnan Al-Badri found alcohol levels of 100mg, above the legal driving limits, as well as MDMA and ketamine.

He also recorded injuries including broken bones.

Detective Inspector Ronald Lock, who led the investigation, said the police had scoured CCTV and confirmed no-one else was there.

Mr Brookes recorded a narrative conclusion.

He said: ‘The deceased fell to his death from the roof of a multi-storey car park.

‘The state of his mind was impacted by ketamine, MDMA and alcohol. There was insufficient evidence to be satisfied this was a suicide.’

Mrs Tait added: ‘He loved to play Xbox, going to the cinema and reading Marvel comics. He was very happy, loved to joke around and was just a lovely soul.

‘We could not have asked for a better son.’