Man dies at cliffs near Eastbourne following barbecue with friend

A 39-year-old man died at the cliffs near Eastbourne after having a barbecue with his friend, an inquest heard.

The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (January 6), heard Krzysztof Dabrowski, a delivery driver from Burstow Road in London, was found dead on Birling Gap beach on August 15 last year.

Mr Dabrowski had come down to Eastbourne with his friend Michal Lewandwski on August 14. The duo were having a barbecue on the cliff top that night and planned to stay in their van which was parked a short distance away.

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Detective sergeant Paul Edwards worked on the case and put together an account of what happened that night through physical evidence, witness statements and information from Mr Lewandwski.

Man dies at cliffs near Eastbourne following BBQ with friend (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155116008

DS Edwards said Mr Dabrowski went to go and sleep in the van and Mr Lewandwski stayed with the barbecue until it went out. When Mr Lewandwski eventually went to the van to go to sleep it was locked and he couldn’t wake Mr Dabrowski so he slept behind the vehicle until the next morning.

The next day when Mr Lewandwski woke he still couldn’t get a response from Mr Dabrowski in the van so went for a walk on the beach which is when he found Mr Lewandwski’s body around 8.10am, DS Edwards said.

Police were called and emergency services recovered his body later that morning, the inquest heard.

Toxicology reports found Mr Dabrowski had high levels of alcohol in his system and the post mortem revealed injuries on the right side of his body which was an indication he had fallen on his walk to the van.

DS Edwards said witnesses pointed out there was a partial moon that night meaning it was quite dark and there is no official lighting in the area the men had the barbecue.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said, “It’s understandable that he’s taken a route where he can’t see where he’s going. There is no evidence pointing to suicide or any sign of a fight.

“He hasn’t intended to go off the cliff. Given the circumstances he’s gone over it by accident.

“He’s walking in a place he can’t see and he’s quite drunk – so misadventure seems a more appropriate conclusion.”

Mr Craze ruled Mr Dabrowski died due to misadventure.