Inquest into death of man who fell from derelict hotel continues

Thomas Rhodes
Thomas Rhodes

A university student who fell to his death from an abandoned hotel in Sheffield which had become a haven for 'urban explorers' spent time in hospital for a drug induced psychotic episode the year before, an inquest heard.

Thomas Rhodes, aged 19, was found slumped outside the former Hallam Tower hotel in Broomhill last March.

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The derelict 1960s building on Manchester Road has been popular with so-called urban explorers for years and following Thomas' death hotel owners pleaded with them to stay away for their own safety.

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An inquest into the death of the first-year geography student at the University of Sheffield, heard that he had spent 10 days as an inpatient at Glenfield Hospital near Leicester following a drug-induced psychotic episode in July 2016 while on holiday in France.

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Recovery worker Dean Long said be was never presented in multi-disciplinary team meetings as a suicide or self-harm risk.

Thomas was prescribed anti-psychotic medication but appeared stable at a review in August 2016.

Mr Long told an inquest had received a phone call from Thomas' mother, Camel Rhodes, who raised concerns about her son drinking alcohol to excess but he said 'there was never any indication he was struggling with his mental health'.

At a meeting on November 22, 2016 it was noted that Thomas wanted to come off his medication.

His medication was reduced and Thomas was later discharged back to his GP.

Hallam Tower was owned by developers Blenheim Group at the time of Thomas' death.

Bosses say they faced an 'ongoing battle' with trespassers which left them wanting to 'tear their hair' out.

Group director Christopher Anderson told the inquest that workers had boarding up windows and put up barbed wiring and grease in a bid to keep out urban explorers.

He said: "On one occasion when the police were called, one person came out in professional climbing gear.

"People brought ladders and hid them on site. People were even using bricks to increase the height of the ladders."

The last recorded access to the hotel was on March 23, three days prior to Thomas' death.

The inquest continues.