Pictured: ‘Talented’ 19-year-old who died after plunging 100ft from St Paul’s Cathedral’s Whispering Gallery as his family pay tribute to the ‘young gentleman who revelled in sharing his knowledge with others’
- James Jorge Jose De Sousa Stayton, from Herefordshire, fell 100ft to his death
- The 19-year-old was described as a ‘beautiful, talented and intelligent son’
- The teenager fell from the Whispering Gallery at the Cathedral at 4pm on April 1
- Two years ago figure skater Lidia Dragescu died falling from viewing platform
Tributes have been paid to a 19-year-old man who died after plunging 100ft from the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral.
James Jorge Jose De Sousa Stayton, from Herefordshire, a student at Queen Mary University of London, fell from the famous viewing platform at 4pm on April 1.
His family have issued a statement calling a ‘beautiful, talented and intelligent son’ with a ‘deep passion for history.’
He died from multiple injuries, including a ‘severe head injury’ after falling from the gallery, which is a 259 step climb from ground level, an inquest heard today.
His mother, who attended with her sister, sobbed as Senior Coroner Alison Hewitt opened the inquest at City of London Coroner’s Court.
The teenager’s death came just 18 months after figure skater Lidia Dragescu fell to her death in front of shocked tourists after climbing over the gallery’s safety barriers.
James Jorge Jose De Sousa Stayton, from Herefordshire, a student at Queen Mary University of London, fell from the famous viewing platform at 4pm on April 1
In a tribute released by police, his family said: ‘We are all in deep shock at the loss of our beautiful, talented and intelligent son.
‘He had a deep passion for history and revelled in sharing his knowledge with others.
‘He truly was a young gentlemen, always willing to help others where he could.
‘With his wicked sense of humour and mischievous smile he could bring irrepressible joy to anyone in his company.
‘Words cannot adequately express the devastation we feel, nor the love we have for him. The world is inarguably a lesser place without JJ.
The teenager died after plunging 100ft from the Whispering Gallery (pictured) at St Paul’s Cathedral in London
At the time of Mr De Sousa Stayton’s death St Paul#s Cathedral (pictured) closed for the rest of the day
At the time of Mr De Sousa Stayton’s death the Cathedral closed for the rest of the day. A video posted on Twitter showed emergency services arriving at the venue as tourists waited outside.
The viewing gallery, which is popular with tourists who have to climb 257 steps to gain access, was due to close to sightseers at 4pm.
Ms Dragescu, from Romford, Essex, who died on October 2017 had two notes written in her native Romanian in her hands when she fell.
She had said goodbye to her mother Isabela just an hour-and-a-half before.
A video posted on Twitter showed emergency services arriving at the venue as shocked tourists waited outside
A view looking down from the Whispering Gallery. The height is the equivalent of eight London buses
The death comes just 18 months after figure skater Lidia Dragescu, 23, died when she fell from the Whispering Gallery
Mrs Dragescu, 44, said at the time that her daughter ‘wanted to see how it was on the other side’ and ‘picked the cathedral because she needed to fly into God’s arms.’
The Whispering Gallery runs around the interior of the building’s dome, and gets its name from a ‘charming quirk in its construction’ which makes a whisper against its walls audible on the opposite side.
It overlooks the nave and transept of the cathedral, which was built in the 17th Century to designs by Sir Christopher Wren.
Officers from the City of London Police have compiled a report for the Coroner on the circumstances surrounding Mr De Sousa Stayton’s death, which is being treated as non-suspicious.
The inquest heard today that more evidence is being gathered into his death, and the coroner did not set a date for a full hearing until that is completed.
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