Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:13 UK

Drama student's party fall death

Coroner's report graphic
Barnaby Kellett had been at ballet school before training as an actor

A drama student who had drunk alcohol and taken ecstasy at a party fell to his death from a first floor balcony, an inquest has heard.

Barnaby Kellett, 21, from Swansea, who was training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, had taken four ecstasy tablets.

A friend told the hearing she saw him stumble at least twice before his body was found outside the building in Clifton, Bristol, in February 2007.

Deputy Avon coroner Terrence Moore recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The Bristol coroner's court hearing, sitting at Flax Bourton Village Hall, was told none of the 50 people at the party, in the early hours of Saturday 24 February, saw Mr Kellett fall.

But two friends who were sitting outside the building, Arlington Villas, said they heard a "thud" in the darkness.

They found Mr Kellett lying in a pool of blood on the driveway a short time later and called for help.

He worked out exactly what he wanted to do, and he did it - he was an amazing person - he was a loss to the theatre as well as a great loss to our family
Barnaby Kellett's mother, Helen

Tests shows Mr Kellett, whose family home was in Rhossili, Gower, had nearly three times the amount of the ecstasy drug MDMA in his blood than expected for a recreational user.

The hearing heard Mr Kellett had told his friend Samantha Mallinson he had taken four tablets. Ms Mallinson later tried to give him first aid before he was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Mr Kellett died in hospital of multiple injuries the following day.

Mr Moore said: "He was certainly drinking and drugs were available at the party.


"Barnaby himself told friend Samantha Mallinson he had taken four ecstasy tablets. That would seem to be consistent with the readings of the toxicologist.

"I think on two occasions Samantha Mallinson saw him fall over or nearly fall over. At some point he has gone up the steps to the balcony, possibly for fresh air.

"The next thing we know there was a thud and it's clear he has fallen from the balcony. This was an act of accidental death."

Mr Kellett's father Brian, mother Helen, and brother Tom attended the hearing.

After the verdict Mrs Kellett said her son had been in dozens of theatre productions, previously spent three years at ballet school and was a talented and "fantastic" person.

She said: "He worked out exactly what he wanted to do, and he did it. He was an amazing person.

"He was a loss to the theatre as well as a great loss to our family."

A past member of West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, the company had called him "a remarkable person" of "rare versatilty".

Man dies after fall from balcony
25 Feb 07 |  Bristol/Somerset

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