Rugby star, 24, fell to death hiding from lockdown cops on roof at illegal party

A promising young rugby star plunged to his death while hiding from police on the roof of an illegal lockdown-breaching house party, an inquest has heard.

Tom Miller, 24, tragically passed away after sustaining a 'devastating brain injury' from the fall on December 7.

The young man, who was studying business management at Nottingham Trent University, has been described as a 'natural sportsman'.

He had been playing rugby for his university side in the BUCS League and had just signed a contract to play professionally for Championship side Nottingham.

Nottingham Coroner's Court heard that PCSOs called on the busy house party, which was taking place during Tier 3 Covid restrictions, to warn them about high noise levels, Daily Mail reports.

Rumours of potential arrests around the party caused some people to hide, with Mr Miller climbing on the roof and tragically falling and sustaining fatal injuries, the BBC reported.

PC Kate Gledhill of Nottinghamshire Police told the court that the police community support officers just gave a warning about noise and swiftly left.

But some partygoers claim there had been a second visit by the officers, although PC Gledhill says there is no record of this.

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The court heard from PC Kate Gledhill of Nottinghamshire Police, who said the police community support officers gave a warning about noise and left.

According to the BBC, PC Gledhill told the court: "Tom travelled upstairs and found a small window which gave access to a ledge and then a section of roof.

"He filmed himself there and sent messages to friends, inviting one up to join him."

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After some time on the roof, Mr Miller's friend went to urinate and 'slipped', which caused the pair to become 'entangled' and both fall.

Mr Miller suffered fatal injuries and died in hospital while the friend suffered less serious injuries.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, assistant coroner Laurinda Bower said: "This was a tragic case which led to the death of someone who was clearly highly regarded among his friends. It has had a profound and ongoing impact on those who were there and the wider university.'"

Miller’s dad Duncan told the Daily Mail: “He fell from a great height in Nottingham. It was a freak accident and he suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

“We've gone from a very high point and now we're at a low point. He had just signed his first professional contract for Nottingham Rugby Club only a few days before.

“The legacy that he left is beyond our expectation. His friendship group is just so big and it's the mark of the man.”

Miller had been chosen as an ambassador for the Oddballs Foundation, who work to raise awareness of testicular cancer.

A JustGiving page was set up by his family for the charity, which has raised more than £40,000 since being set up on December 12.

Writing on the page, his mother said: "The world lost a beautiful, funny, kind and generous soul on 7th December from a head injury.

"To honour him we'd like to raise funds to continue his work at Oddballs, a charity for which he was an ambassador. The money raised will fund another ambassador to assist the Foundation."

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