Student fell to his death after taking ecstasy
Aug 29 2008 WalesOnline
A YOUNG aspiring actor plunged to his death from the balcony of a flat after taking a cocktail of Ecstasy and alcohol, an inquest heard.
Barnaby Kellett, 21, from Rhossili on the Gower peninsula, took four Ecstasy tablets at a fellow student’s surprise party.
Mr Kellett was an acting student at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, whose alumni include Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart, Pete Postlethwaite, Peter O’Toole, Gene Wilder and Greta Scacchi.
Friends told an inquest at Bristol Coroner’s Court that Mr Kellett was unsteady on his feet and repeatedly fell over at the party.
Toxicology reports found Mr Kellett’s blood had nearly three times the amount of MDMA – commonly known as Ecstasy – expected to be found in a sample taken from a recreational user.
Not one of the 50 revellers at the party witnessed Mr Kellett fall from the first floor flat in Arlington Villas, Clifton, an affluent suburb of Bristol, on February 24, 2007 last year.
But friends Alexander Batcholar and Basher Savage described hearing a “thud” in the darkness as they sat outside the building in the early hours of the morning.
Shortly after, the pair found Mr Kellett lying in a pool of blood on the driveway and called for help.
Despite attempts made by another friend, Samantha Mallinson, to administer first aid, Mr Kellett died of multiple injuries at Bristol Royal Infirmary at 4.30am on February 25, 2007.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy coroner Terence 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, brother Tom and mother Helen, attended the hearing sitting at Flax Bourton Village Hall.
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.”
After his death, the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre Company, where Mr Kellett had been a member from 2001 to 2006, placed a statement on its website which read: “The entire West Glamorgan Youth Theatre Company has been deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Barnaby Kellett, a much cherished member of the company from 2001 to 2006.
“At a time when many staff and students are experiencing deep sorrow and shock at the sudden loss of such a talented young man, we can draw some strength from the many gifts Barnaby brought to the company over the last five years.
“Everyone who has been a part of the company in that time will have been touched by his energy, capacity for friendship, and utter love of all things ‘West Glamorgan’.”
He was a student and actor of rare versatility and brought a professional and detailed approach to a remarkably wide range of acting roles, the statement said. “Few young people could have adapted and developed across such a range of diverse challenges. Barnaby did so, with a joy, intellect, and good humour, that greatly influenced all around him, students and staff alike.
“But beyond these great abilities as actor or dancer, it is as a remarkable person that we shall most remember him.”
“Company members will have a range of memories of rooms shared with Barnaby, social committee games, our international visit to Denmark or just the conversations around Danycoed that Barnaby so loved.
“In having someone as special as Barnaby as a part of the Youth Theatre family, we have been blessed.
It concluded: “At the end of his last course in Summer 2006, Barnaby left Danycoed with a typically Barnaby phrase. He turned to the staff and said simply, ‘I wouldn’t have missed it for the world’. And neither would we.”
Euphoric added 1 Minutes and 5 Seconds later...
Wonder what the alcohol blood levels were?