Window cleaner fell from top of five-storey Islington house

16, Noel Road, pictured second left, where Mr Bluring fell to his death. Picture: Google Street View

16, Noel Road, pictured second left, where Mr Bluring fell to his death. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

A window cleaner fell five storeys to his death in Islington, an inquest heard today.

One witness said she “couldn’t believe” her eyes when she saw David Bluring, 58, falling mid-air.

Mr Bluring had been cleaning windows on a house in Noel Road on the afternoon of October 1 last year.

A jury of seven women and four men at St Pancras Coroners’ Court concluded this afternoon that he died of “severe head injuries” caused by an accidental fall from the top of the house.

The house, number 16, belongs to retired couple Sheila and Geoffrey Arden, who had been using Mr Bluring’s services for the past year.


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In a statement read out to the court, Mrs Arden said: “We were on the ground floor, in different parts, when it happened.

“I heard a shout and a noise of ‘oh’ – or something like that.”

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Mrs Arden went outside to see members of the public already gathered, and saw Mr Bluring outside the basement section of the house.

“I looked down and saw David was lying on his side. There was a big pool of blood.”

Mr Arden, a former GP, said: “As soon as we got outside, I could see him in the lightwell.

“His breathing was very shallow. I tried to make him more comfortable. He was blue by the time the ambulance came.”

Gemma Osbeck, who lives across the road from Mr and Mrs Arden, saw Mr Bluring falling.

She told the hearing: “I was going to pick my daughter up from school. I locked my front door and heard a muffled scream. I saw him falling from the top to the bottom of number 16.

“I couldn’t quite believe what I had seen. I asked a workman from a few doors down: ‘Did you see him fall?’ I ran across and saw him in the lightwell.”

London Ambulance Service arrived shortly after the fall at 3pm, with paramedics performing CPR. But Mr Bluring was pronounced dead at around 3.15pm.

Police said there was no sign of disturbance, and a toxicologist found there was no alcohol or drugs in his system.

Nick Faber, a health and safety inspector, attended later that afternoon. He said: “A brass handle was on the stairs in the lightwell. It appeared to be the same type as on the other wooden sash windows. It would appear to have been pulled out.

“We believe Mr Bluring exited the top floor window on the external façade, where there was a small parapet wall, to clean the windows.”

The jury took just under an hour to reach its verdict of accidental death.

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