Haemorrhage led to cliff fall

A TOURIST died after he suffered a brain haemorrhage while walking along cliff tops at Cowbar, a coroner has heard.

The body of Vijendra Pal (63) was found on the beach in April and this week coroner Michael Oakley reopened the inquest into his death.

In a statement by William Hinchley he said he was walking along the beach just after 9am when a pair of boots caught his attention and he saw a body lying face down in the water.

A post mortem revealed Mr Pal suffered multiple injuries due to a fall following the brain haemorrhage which happened first possibly causing him to collapse and lose consciousness.

Mr Pal, who lived in Sutton Coldfield, was a recently retired software consultant and a regular visitor to the area.

The inquest heard he usually stayed at the Cliffemount Hotel in Runswick Bay and settles his bill but the following day when staff checked his room his belongings were still there.

Susan Findlay, from Leamington Spa, said she had known Mr Pal for several years and she had last spoken to him in March.

She said: “He was full of what he’d been doing.”

She added he had not been complaining of headaches and he had been keeping himself occupied during his retirement.

Michael Stead, of Cowbar Cottages in Staithes, recalled Mr Pal walking past his home with a woman on Wednesday 13 April but recognised him when he was later reported missing and his photograph was printed in the Whitby Gazette.

He said: “I just made a pleasantry and he completely ignored me.

“The lady looked at him – she was perhaps wondering why he hadn’t acknowledged me.

“They walked to the end of the road.

“It troubled me a bit because most people say ‘good morning’.

“That was the last I saw of them.”

Mr Stead said there was a full-scale search the following night which involved rescue helicopters.

He added: “I’d spoken to the coastguard when the body was discovered on the Saturday.

“It was the same person that they’d been looking for.

“I still didn’t make the link until I saw the photo in the Whitby Gazette.”

PS Jonathan Webb, of Whitby Police, said when Mr Pal was reported missing he was classed as “high risk” because the disappearance was out of character.

He said: “He had quite specific routines and he was conversant with the staff – for him to disappear was out of character.”

The search also included officers on foot, combing the surrounding area, as well as dog teams before he was eventually found on Saturday 16 April.

Mr Oakley recorded a verdict of death by misadventure and said that the brain haemorrhage, which happened while he was walking along the cliffs at Cowbar, caused him to fall to the beach below.

He said: “It must have been in the area in which his car was found and near to where his body was found on the beach.

“There’s nothing to suggest, in this evidence, that he’s been in such a way to have been deliberately jumping from the cliff.

“He collapsed and that was the reason he’s fallen from the cliffs.”