x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Geologist jumped from JBR balcony after row with girlfriend: inquest

Inquest in Britain told that 24-year-old was drunk when he jumped from his balcony after arguing with his girlfriend and would not have meant to kill himself.

A drunken geologist jumped almost 100 metres to his death from a high-rise apartment in Dubai after a violent row with his girlfriend, an inquest in Britain has been told.

Louise Botham wept at the inquest as she relived the night in July 2008 that her boyfriend, 24-year-old Ryan Guest, jumped from the balcony of their flat on the 32nd floor of the Bahar Tower at the Jumeirah Beach Residence.

His only words immediately before his fatal leapt were: “I’m going.”

Mr Guest, who worked for Dubai Petroleum, had returned that day from a month on a rig in the Gulf. He was said to be suffering stress from a heavy workload and disrupted sleep patterns.

The inquest in Kendal, Cumbria, was told that moments before Mr Guest jumped, Miss Botham, 30, had thrown gifts from him off the balcony and threatened to leave him after he had become violent.

Miss Botham, a solicitor who was arrested by Dubai police after the death but later released without charge, said that she did not believe Mr Guest had meant to kill himself and that alcohol was the “primary factor” behind his actions.

She said that, while Mr Guest was not an alcoholic, he did tend to go on drinking binges. “He was working in a high pressure job and he was on a rig in a room on his own for a month at a time.

“He was working constantly. There was a lot of pressure on him to find oil, as oil is running out in Dubai,” said Miss Botham, who had only recently moved to Dubai to be with her boyfriend, and still lives there.

“He was a typical binge drinker. When he got drunk, he didn’t have any recollection of what he had done but it didn’t cause problems between us.”

On the night he died, Mr Guest had already been drinking by the time he met Miss Botham to go out to dinner with friends.
He continued drinking heavily throughout the evening and, as the couple returned to JBR by taxi, they argued for the first time about their relationship.

When they arrived home, Miss Botham locked herself in the bathroom.

She finally came out after Mr Guest had banged on the door incessantly.

“He pinned me down on the sofa and punched me on the arm,” said Miss Botham. “I pushed him off and threw a glass at the TV.

I told him I was leaving him, that I hated him because he had hit me, and that he would never see me again.

“He was very drunk - between being angry and upset. His mood was fluctuating. It was the first time we had ever argued.”

Miss Botham told the inquest that she then gathered up all the gifts he had given her, including several teddy bears, went out to the balcony and threw them off.

She said Mr Guest then “ran out to the balcony, jumped on the table and said: ‘I’m going’. That’s all he said.”

Frances Guest, the victim’s mother, told the inquest: “He did not mean this to happen. This was not him at all. He would not have given it much thought. We will never know what he was really thinking.”

Her son died instantly from multiple injuries.

Coroner Shirley Evans recorded a narrative verdict – one that summarises circumstances, rather than attributing their cause – saying: “Ryan Guest died as a result of his own actions, while not understanding their inevitable consequences because he was under the influence of alcohol.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae