A COUNTY Durham man fell to his death after jumping over a barrier at a Turkish airport, an inquest has been told this morning.

Andrew Westlake had been asked to leave a flight home to the UK shortly before the incident at Dalaman Airport, in May 2018.

Eye witnesses at the time described how he fell about 50ft after jumping over a ledge inside the terminal.

The 29-year-old father, from Annfield Plain, had been on holiday with family members but was asked to leave their hotel following a series of rows.

A statement from the customer relations manager of the Grand Aquarium Hotel, where the family were staying, read: “In the first few days the family arrived there were no problems but then they started to have family problems in the communal areas of the hotel. This information was given to Jet2 and agency officials came to the hotel to talk to the family. They gave Andrew Westlake a warning as he was creating problems. He said he was uneasy as he could not see his daughter and wanted to leave because he was not enjoying the holiday. After this he said he wanted to go back to his country, I told this to his family but they said they couldn't afford it."

He went to the Honorary British Consulate in the resort of Marmaris, where he said he had been refused re-entry to the hotel, had no money and wanted to go to the airport even though his flight was not for three days.

The inquest in Crook, County Durham, was told he was given a small amount of money from a charity fund to pay for food and his bus fare to the airport.

Mr Westlake’s partner Nicola Bell was on the flight he was asked to leave, but she was not sitting with him and did not see what happened when he was removed from the plane, County Durham and Darlington Assistant Coroner James Thompson was told.

Zuhal Mete, a Jet2 customer co-ordinator at Dalaman Airport, said she first met Mr Westlake when he was brought off the aircraft, but she later found out he had been at the airport for two days.

She said Mr Westlake looked scared and was “begging” her co-worker, saying “please don’t hit me”.

The colleague told her Mr Westlake was asked to leave the plane because he had been acting strangely and another passenger was “not happy” because of the behaviour.

Ms Mete said he had asked another passenger to help him through security, saying: “Please hold my passport because I cannot do it myself.”

And on the plane he complained about the air conditioning, saying he did not like the smell and it was “dangerous”, the inquest heard.

The Turkish customer co-ordinator met him at the air bridge and said Mr Westlake seemed drunk at first, but she could not smell alcohol on him.

Ms Mete said they offered him help to find accommodation and to call his family from their office, but she did not see him again once he was back in the main terminal.

She later received a phone call from the police, after Mr Westlake had fallen, in which the officer said the British tourist had been seen trying to get in the military airbase next to the airport, and he was brought back to the terminal.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Thompson said: "Andrew Westlake died from injuries caused by a fall of 10.2 metres from the second floor of Dalaman Airport.
"This occurred whilst he was suffering some form of mental health episode."