A teetotal businessman’s mystery fall from the 11th floor of a Spanish hotel last year was an accident while he was ‘disorientated’ after drinking alcohol – something he had not done for 20 years, a coroner has ruled.

Richard Dawson was in Madrid on business on May 26, 2019, when he fell from a Marriott Hotel in the capital city.

The 57-year-old’s room was on the 6th floor but he fell from a window five floors higher after being seen on CCTV trying a number of room doors in the hotel.

Although he had not drunk alcohol to his wife’s knowledge for two decades, there was a significant level in his body at the time of his death, the Gloucester inquest was told.

The senior Gloucestershire coroner, Katie Skerrett, concluded however that there was no evidence to suggest suicide or foul play and she recorded that his death was an accident.

The court was told that the last time Mr Dawson seen alive was on the morning of May 24 2019 by a colleague who spent half an hour with him before moving out of the hotel.

Mr Dawson, of Bonners Close, Malmesbury, had a new role in his work which he was finding more stressful as he was having to spend more time away from home, the inquest heard. But his wife Deborah stated that she spoke to him on May 24 and there was nothing said to suggest he was unhappy.

A post-mortem examination after his body was repatriated found he had suffered a devastating blunt force trauma to the head and neck along with multiple bone fractures throughout his body – all consistent from falling from a great height.

The pathologist could not rule out that Mr Dawson suffered more than one significant impact and said he would have died instantaneously.

There were no indications of an assault or any third party involvement, the pathology report said. Cause of death was stated as ‘multiple blunt force injuries.’

The Spanish post-mortem revealed that Mr Dawson had a quantity of alcohol in his system – not enough to cause toxicity but enough to impair co-ordination.

The coroner said that both the Spanish and the UK post-mortems had similar conclusions but because Mr Dawson’s body had been embalmed it was not possible to conduct a reliable toxicology report in this country.

Mr Dawson’s wife told the inquest that her husband had not drunk alcohol in over 20 years and she assumed that if he had drunk it would have been boredom that led him to it. She emphasised that Mr Dawson did not have any suicidal thoughts. The inquest heard that CCTV footage showed Mr Dawson trying a number of hotel doors on different floors.

The Spanish magistrates concluded that Mr Dawson had become disorientated within the hotel, possibly from the effects of alcohol.

The coroner said: “There are still many unanswered questions about Mr Dawson’s death. But he died during the early hours of May 26, 2019.

“There is no apparent reason why he was on the 11th floor, he had possibly become disorientated in the hotel he was staying at due to the effects of alcohol.

“On the face of it, this is a tragic accidental death of a 57-year-old businessman working abroad.”

Coroner’s conclusion: Accidental death.