Mum pays tribute to dance contestant who fell from roof of Northampton flats

County Hall, where today's inquest took place
County Hall, where today's inquest took place
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A contestant in Strictly Northampton died just hours after his performance after sliding off a roof, an inquest heard.

Carl Waltham, 25, of Talbot Road, Northampton, had competed in the charity dance show on Saturday, November 21 last year.

An inquest held in Northampton yesterday (Thursday) heard that, after performing in the show, Mr Waltham went to the after party and then out with friends in town. While out, they met his friend, Kinga Marciniak. Mr Waltham and the four others then went back to his third floor flat in the early hours.

In a statement read out by coroner Anne Pember, Ms Marciniak said the group carried on drinking. She said: “Carl said he wanted to show me something. He went out a window and climbed onto a roof. It was really cold, icy and slippery.”

Ms Marciniak said Carl then performed what the coroner described as a “party trick”, sliding down the roof and over the edge. However, when she rushed inside, Carl entered through the front door, having landed on the balcony that served as access to the flats.

They then went onto the roof again. Ms Marciniak said: “He did it again, but it wasn’t the same. He wasn’t as confident or in control as before. He appeared to have more speed. He didn’t call for help or cry out. He simply didn’t look as comfortable.”

The second time, Mr Waltham missed the balcony and fell to the car park below. His friend Matthew Harvey recalled that Ms Marciniak came back in saying something had gone wrong, and the two looked over the edge to see Mr Waltham lying below. Mr Waltham died in hospital from his injuries.

In a statement Mr Waltham’s mother, Allyson Harrison, said the family had lost his brother, Jay, to cancer, and added: “Carl did a lot of charity work and had completed the London Triathlon for the Teenage Cancer Trust. In the last year he had raised £30,000 for the charity. He was kind, hard working, and loving. It was a privilege to be his mother and I feel blessed to have him in our lives.”

The coroner gave a verdict of accidental death.