UK

Dead Heathrow Stowaway Jose Matada 'Had Travelled To London For Better Life'

25/04/2013 11:32 BST | Updated 25/04/2013 12:06 BST

A man who died after plummeting from the undercarriage of a plane flying over London had a "desire to travel to Europe for a better life", an inquest has died.

Jose Matada, 26, from Mozambique, suffered massive injuries after falling from the Heathrow-bound flight from Angola on September 9 last year.

His body was found on the pavement of Portman Avenue, Mortlake, in south-west London.

e fit

An e-fit of what the man was thought to have looked like

West London Coroner's Court heard the stowaway may have been dead before he hit the ground either because he had been crushed by the retracting landing gear shortly after the plane took off, or because of the extreme cold at high altitude.

Detectives analysed a sim card found in his jeans and contacted the phone numbers that were stored on it in a bid to identify him.

Detective sergeant Jeremy Allsup, from the Metropolitan Police, told the inquest that officers contacted a woman in Switzerland who had exchanged text messages with Mr Matada.

left arm

The Met Police released a picture of his distinctive tattoo in a bid to identify the stowaway

The woman, referred to during the hearing as Ms Hunt, told police Mr Matada had worked for her family as a housekeeper and gardener in South Africa and had spoken to her about travelling to Europe.

She told officers that although she had done nothing to facilitate his trip, she knew Mr Matada had "desired to travel to Europe for a better life", Mr Allsup said.

Police had originally thought Mr Matada, also known as Youssouf Matada, was Angolan because of currency found in his pockets.

A post-mortem gave the cause of death as multiple injuries.

Coroner Dr Sean Cummings recorded a verdict of accidental death.