School maintenance worker Dilwyn Phillips' Dartford death a 'tragic accident'

News Shopper: Dilwyn Phillips was a "much admired" maintenance worker at Dartford Grammar School. Dilwyn Phillips was a "much admired" maintenance worker at Dartford Grammar School.

THE death of a school maintenance worker whose body was found in an alleyway behind a Dartford pub, has been described as a "tragic accident".

Dilwyn Phillips, 52, was discovered lying in an alley behind The Flying Boat in Spital Street at between 10 and 10.15am on July 1, an inquest at Gravesend Town Hall heard on Wednesday.

A security guard came across the body of the Dartford Grammar School employee when carrying out a routine check of the area around the Priory Shopping Centre.

When Anthony Benning was on patrol near the alley by Gala Bingo, he saw what he thought was a man drunk and asleep on the other side of a 5ft wall.

On closer inspection, the man had blood coming from his nose and ears and his face was blue.

Police were called at 10.31am and the man was confirmed dead shortly after.

News Shopper:

Detectives peer over the wall to where Mr Phillips was found. 

A post-mortem examination carried out by Home Office consultant forensic pathologist Dr Peter Jerreath found no clear cause of death.

South Wales-born Mr Phillips had left the home he shared with his partner Jean in Henderson Drive, Dartford, at around 8pm on June 29 to head out for a drink.

DC Smith said CCTV footage recorded at 11.50pm showed Mr Phillips taking a "heavy fall" before trying to climb the wall.

He added: "He falls but then climbs it again and disappears over it.

"It’s unknown whether he jumped or fell from the wall."

Mr Phillips suffered two falls in the months leading up to his death, including one just two weeks before which left him slurring his words.

His body was found to have 217mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - more than twice the 80mg drink driving limit.

News Shopper:

Police at the scene outside The Flying Boat pub. 

Jean said Mr Phillips could often be seen walking his beloved black Labrador Shanks in Darenth and that his death was a "tragic accident".

She added: "He was very fit. He wasn’t someone who went out on the drink the whole time."

Mr Phillips’ former boss at Dartford Grammar School, business manager Luigi Wiechula, told News Shopper staff had lost a "much admired" colleague who had been with the school for four years.

He said: "He was fit and we saw him on the Friday before it happened and he was fine and that is why it was such a huge shock to all of us.

"He worked hard and was nice and polite and really you can’t ask for much more."

Mr Hatch recorded an open verdict at the inquest on December 11.

Comments (1)

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4:02pm Fri 13 Dec 13

ElsieH says...

Very sad, but how is this a "tragic accident" and not "death by misadventure"?
Very sad, but how is this a "tragic accident" and not "death by misadventure"? ElsieH

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