Christmas drinking session led to death after falling from roof

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A man who fell off a roof in the early hours of Christmas morning was found lying in the street under a duvet with his head on a pillow.

Monty Chitta, 53, is believed to have clambered out of a sky-light and slipped after finding himself locked in a flat in Luton where he had been drinking with two others.

Ampthill coroner’s court heard that at 7.22 on Christmas morning two police officers were alerted by a member of the public who had come across him in Cardigan Street.
Paramedics were called and he was pronounced dead at 8.04 in the morning.

An autopsy, carried out by Dr Ben Swift, found that Mr Chitta had suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, multiple rib fractures, a pelvic fracture and a collapsed right lung. The injuries were consistent with a fall from a height.

There were no signs that he had been murdered — no marks or offensive or defensive injuries, said Dr Swift.

Traces of alcohol and cocaine were found in his body

In a report prepared for the coroner, Detective Inspector Tom Hamm said Mr Chitta, of
St Winifreds Avenue, Luton had visited shops and a pub that night. At one point he had fallen over and been sick.

He said his ‘hypothesis’ was that he had gone with two other men, who have not been traced, to an empty flat at 44D Cardigan Street where they carried on drinking.

Mr Chitta used his phone to call for a taxi for the men, who left, pulling the door behind them. It activated a bolt that locked the door from the outside, leaving Mr Chitta trapped inside.

Unable to get out through the door, it is believed he clambered out through the Velux window on the roof where he slipped, in damp conditions, damaging two satellite dishes as he fell.

DI Hamm said despite extensive appeals the police have been unable to trace the two men who were in the flat with Mr Chitta, the person who placed him under the duvet or the person who raised the alarm who said his name was Vincent.

Mobile phone evidence showed that Mr Chitta’s phone had been used to call for a taxi and had been used by him a number of times when he made unanswered calls to try to get out of the flat.

DI Hamm said Mr Chitta’s phone was not recovered, indicating that somebody may have taken it in the street.

He concluded there was no indication of the involvement of any third party in his death.

In a statement Mr Chitta’s family said: “Monty was kind and generous and a larger than life personality who was friends with everyone. He will be missed so much by his family and friends.”

Bedfordshire coroner Emma Whitting recorded a verdict of accident death. She said: “The evidence shows he was likely to have fallen from the roof of a nearby building as he attempted to exit flat 44D.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my condolences to Mr Chitta’s family for their loss. “