THE family of a woman who fell to her death after climbing across the railings of a fire escape will never know why she did it.

Hayley Clarke, 29, of Spennymoor, had been drinking for about seven hours with her brother Luke Clarke when she climbed the metal staircase at the back of a building on Newgate Street, in Bishop Auckland.

Her sister Shelly Myers, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “She was a beautiful soul, would never hurt anybody and was a brilliant aunty to my four children and Luke’s.

"She had a little dog who loved her, she had a garden and was always out and about. She was a lovely person and close to everyone.”

An inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court yesterday heard CCTV captured the entirety of the incident which happened shortly after 5.30pm on Saturday, March 24.

Giving evidence, Detective Sergeant Gareth Hodgson, said he was able to piece together the lead up and the fall using witness statements from Mr Clarke, another eyewitness and footage from five CCTV cameras.

The court heard Mr and Miss Clarke had planned a day of drinking and met at his address in Spennymoor at about 10.30am.

According to Mr Clarke, they had a couple of drinks before heading to one or two Ferryhill pubs.

Det Sgt Hodgson said: “They got the bus to Bishop Auckland and went to a couple of pubs near the bus station – Lacey’s, The Bay Horse and Hogans.

"Luke described to us between starting drinking and leaving Hogans, at about 5.30pm, they may have had up to 20 pints each and maybe a shot.”

The pair planned to visit a cousin in the town and headed down the back of Newgate Street.

Det Sgt Hodgson said in “drunken horse play” they discussed which buildings they could climb.

They approached 64 Newgate Street, the back of Quicksilver arcade, where Miss Clarke climbed the fire escape to the third floor, banged on the door, returned to the middle level, crossed the barrier and fell.

He added Mr Clarke was unable to give an explanation “why she did what she did”.

A post-mortem found the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries including spine and rib fractures. Coroner Crispin Oliver concluded the death was an accident.