Dad, 34, fell to death from Greek hotel balcony a year after his daughter died

A dad fell to his death on holiday from a hotel balcony a year after his daughter died from a rare disease, an inquest heard.

Martin Rich, 34, had returned to his room in Athens, Greece with his partner Elizabeth Lakic after a row during a night out with his co-workers.

The argument continued and the chef left the room to go for a cigarette – but when he returned he threatened to jump from the balcony, GrimsbyLive reports.

She tried to stop him but he headed outside, climbed over the balcony’s fence and plunged to his death in October 2018.

But the coroner recorded an open verdict into his death as it was unclear whether he had intended to fall.

Martin, of Grimsby, had battled with his mental health and alcohol abuse in the years before and had previously threatened to kill himself.

Elizabeth said: "We bickered for a bit and then he went out to go for a cigarette.

"I heard him say 'I’m going to jump' and was running for the patio door.

“I jumped out of bed and tried to grab him. I was shouting at him as he was climbing over the bar of the balcony and I saw him let go and fall."

She started "banging on the doors and screaming" and his friend Mark came out to help, the hearing in Cleethorpes Town Hall was told.

A post-mortem found he had 185mg of alcohol per 100ml in his blood – more than double the limit for driving – and the anti-depressant Citalopram.

Martin's ex-wife Michaela, who he had separated from six months before, said he used alcohol as a coping mechanism.

She said his mental health took a major hit when his daughter Lyla Mae died due to Non-ketotic Hyperglycinemia in August 2017.

Lyla Mae's brother, Jensen, has the same illness.

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Martin had also lost custody of his two older sons, from a former relationship, which had a big impact on him.

He briefly started taking anti-depressants but then threat himself into work to try and deal with the loss.

Michaela said: "He was a boisterous drunk, the life of a party, as well as emotional.

"Despite what we had been through, and the issues he had, he found his own way of coping.

“I did not consider him to be out of control.

"He had a positive mindset most of the time, other than occasional days around important date such as my daughter’s birthday."

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But he had threatened to kill himself when they had split up previously, the inquest heard.

Michaela said he "was only doing it to get attention and help because he didn't know how to get it otherwise".

In the month before his death he had visited his GP to get help with his depression, who saw a positive response from his first check-up.

Coroner Martin Kendall said he was unable to determine if he had deliberately intended to end his life or if it was accidental.

He said: "The difficulty I have is that Mr Rich was in drink, and the nature of his behaviour has happened before when he was in drink.

"It is because of this I cannot conclude it was intentional suicide, as he may have tried to do it as part of his attention seeking, and sadly fell to his death.

"It is because of this that I have to put it as an open conclusion, as I cannot decide between the two possible causes of death."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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