UK

British Businessman Simon Bartlett Dies In Paris After Falling Into Moat, While Stopping To Urinate

20/03/2014 12:48 GMT | Updated 20/03/2014 12:59 GMT

A British businessman who went sightseeing in Paris after a boozy work dinner died after he stopped to urinate and fell into a moat.

An inquest heard that Simon Bartlett, 49, headed to Les Invalides, an historic complex of Army museums, in the early hours of June 28 last year, having been prevented from exploring the capital city due to a packed work schedule.

les invalides night

Les Invalides, Paris

The father-of-three died after he fell into a 10ft deep dry moat while stopping to relief himself.

Detective Constable Christopher Dinenage told the Portsmouth inquest that Bartlett was found lying face down at the bottom of the dry moat surrounding the building with his trousers undone.

Coroner David Horsley said: "He has decided to have a look at Les Invalides, it's quite a sight, you can imagine it all illuminated at night, he's had a bit to drink, he's a long way from public conveniences, he's stopped to relieve himself and being relaxed from a bit to drink, he's toppled over, sadly.

Mr Dinenage said that French police had viewed CCTV footage which showed Mr Bartlett had been unsteady on his feet and they had concluded he had fallen while stopping to urinate into the moat.

He added that colleagues had told him that Mr Bartlett had been keen to do some sight-seeing but had been unable to do so because of the tight schedule of the business trip.

les invalides paris

Daytime at Les Invalides, Paris

A post mortem examination showed that Mr Bartlett was three-and-a-half times over the alcohol drink-drive limit and he died as a result of severe head injuries.

Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict that Mr Bartlett - who lived in Flemington, New Jersey, USA, but who was born in Yeovil, Somerset, and who had studied and lived in Portsmouth, Hampshire, before moving abroad - had died as a result of an accident.

He said: "What a terrible tragedy. I am so awfully sorry that such an intelligent, lively person has died in a way like this."

He added: "His death would have been instantaneous, he wouldn't have been aware of any discomfort, it would have happened in a split-second."