Mystery over death of Portsmouth man found at Beachy Head

MYSTERY surrounds the death of a Portsmouth software programmer whose family believe may have accidentally slipped over cliffs whilst sightseeing.

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 1:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 1:27 pm

Samuel James Dowling was found at the foot of cliffs at Beachy Head on October 25.

His body was recovered by coastguards and a lifeboat crew after being spotted by the coastguard helicopter during a search for a dog which had fallen over the edge.

Among his belongings was a return rail ticket to Eastbourne from his home in Fratton Road, Portsmouth dated October 22.

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An open verdict was recorded into his death at an inquest at Eastbourne this week.

The family of Mr Dowling, known as James, said he was a quiet, reserved intelligent young man who enjoyed coastal walks, and although he had suffered work related stress before, had not shown any suicidal tendencies.

His mother Bridgett Dowling said, ‘I believe he may have gone to Beachy Head to look at the view, looked over and got too close to the edge and slipped.’

Coroner Alan Craze said there was no firm evidence to show Mr Dowling’s death was either an accident or suicide.