Teacher ‘happiest she’d been in a long time’ dies after falling from balcony

A British teacher who tragically fell to her death from an apartment balcony was the "happiest she'd been in a long time," according to her heartbroken mum.

Lucy Whiteside, from Bolton, fell just a week after arriving in Mondragone near Naples.

The tragedy occurred on October 26 last year while Ms Whiteside was in the country to teach English to children.

The 30-year-old had gone to the country to fulfil her lifelong dream on October 16, 2019, heard Bolton Coroners' Court.

Her devastated mum, Carole Woodward said she was in a happy place at the time of her death.

Ms Whiteside kept in regular contact with loved ones and had shown them around her second-storey two-bedroom apartment over the phone.

The court heard she had made friends and was offered a second teaching job within 10 days of being in the country.

At 8.30pm on October 26, Ms Whiteside spoke with her mum and stepfather. She said her boiler was broken.

The hearing was told she planned to have a bath and watch a film that evening, reports Manchester Evening News.

At around 10.30pm, Ms Whiteside's sister Gemma Bentley received a phone call from someone who said she had been found collapsed in the street.

It was later established the caller was a paramedic. A passer-by had called emergency services after finding Ms Whiteside intoxicated.

It is not known what happened between the time Ms Whiteside spoke to her mum on the phone and when she was found in the street.

Italian police believe Ms Whiteside may have heard dogs barking from the apartment next door and went out onto her balcony to see them.

It is thought she held onto a glass partition separating balconies to peer around the corner before it gave way.

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She fell to the ground and died from her 'unsurvivable' injuries almost immediately, the court heard.

Ms Woodward said: "Lucy was living her dream."

Coroner Alan Walsh concluded there was no evidence Ms Whiteside's mood was low at the time.

He said she seemed in good spirits and had made plans for the weeks ahead.

Italian police said they were 'confident' there was no third-party involvement as the apartment door was locked when they arrived.

Dr Walsh concluded Ms Whiteside's death was an accident.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News after the hearing, Ms Whiteside's loved ones spoke of their heartbreak.

In a statement, the family added: "Lucy’s family would like to thank the Bolton coroner Alan Walsh for his sensitive and caring handling of the inquest which took place today.

"Lucy was a vibrant force of nature; a free spirit who loved to travel and was universally loved by everyone she met throughout her short but very full life.

"She was a fiercely loyal friend and has left an indelible mark on many people’s lives.

"Family meant everything to Lucy and she was a dearly loved daughter, sister and the best auntie in the world to her three adored nephews.

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"Her funeral service was attended by some 200 family and friends who came from all over the UK and Europe to pay their respects.

"We will all continue to love and miss her forever – she has left a legacy of a life well lived."

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