'Overwhelmed' traveller jumped to death at Bangkok airport

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Suvarnabhumi International Airport in BangkokImage source, REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Image caption,
Edward Baker died after jumping from a balcony at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

A chef died after jumping from a balcony at a Bangkok airport after becoming "severely anxious" at the start of a backpacking trip to the Far East, an inquest heard.

Edward Baker, 35, from Sandown on the Isle of Wight, travelled to Thailand with a friend in November 2015.

But he became "overwhelmed" by the "hustle and bustle" of his first day in the Thai capital.

He died after deciding not to board an onward flight with his friend.

The inquest, held in Newport, Isle of Wight, heard how Mr Baker had agreed to fly with his friend, Edward O'Keefe, to the island of Koh Samui.

But at the last minute he decided not to travel and remain at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Mr O'Keefe said his friend had recently become increasingly paranoid and anxious, and had made numerous phone calls to the British embassy's consular service.

His friend continued to Koh Samui but stayed in contact with Mr Baker, who told him he had rearranged a flight back to the UK.

'Trusted friend'

Mr Baker jumped from the fourth floor balcony just before midnight on 26 November, and was later declared dead in hospital.

Coroner Caroline Sumeray recorded a conclusion of suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

She said Mr Baker, originally from Knowsley, Merseyside, had a history of anxiety worsened by excessive drinking.

Ms Sumeray said this was "exacerbated by the circumstances he found himself in, the lack of sleep, the jet lag, the hustle and bustle of the airport" and the effect was "catastrophic".

A post-mortem examination showed he died of a severe head injury and had not taken illicit drugs.

Mr O'Keefe said: "I locked myself in a room for about a month. I just felt bad about it all.

"I should have stayed. I re-live it every day, Edward was the only trusted friend I had."

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