Tributes paid after man dies following flats fall

Boyswell House in Scholes
Boyswell House in Scholes

An elderly man plunged to his death from the upper storeys of a high-rise block of flats in a tragic incident.

Police found the body of the 79-year-old at the foot of Boyswell House in Scholes at around 11.30pm on Wednesday.

Officers concluded he fell from the 12th floor of the building.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) also attended the scene but there was nothing that could be done for him.

The emergency services remained at the scene for more than two hours as they dealt with the grim discovery.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were originally called to Greenough Street after receiving reports of concern for the welfare of a man.

The police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the sad death and a file will now be passed to the coroner.

Officers at Wigan Council, which owns the high-rise building after housing services were taken back into the town hall from Wigan and Leigh Homes, paid tribute to the man.

Vicky Bannister, the town hall’s assistant director for homes, said: “We are terribly saddened to hear about the tragic death of a man at Boyswell House.

“We will offer any support required to both the family and the coroner.”

Sunshine House chief officer Barbara Nettleton said the man was a service user there and staff at the community hub were shocked and horrified by his death.

She said: “He came in here every single day. We supported him with lots of different things like his bills and his medicines and he also came in for meals.

“He had a lovely personality. He was a gentleman. He got about, he liked going to the bookies and having a walk into town. He was just a gentle, nice guy.

“This is a really sad loss to us and our staff who got to know him personally over the last 18 months. It’s tragic.

“He got on well with everybody. Telling people who really supported him within our organisation has just been devastating. It’s really difficult.

“I’m not sure about what family he had but we will continue to do whatever we need to do to support getting him a good funeral and a nice send-off.”

Residents shocked by the appalling incident also took to Wigan Today’s Facebook page to leave messages of condolence.

Dozens of Wiganers expressed their sadness and shock as news of the death prompted an outpouring of grief.

Alexandra Louise said she had cared for him and described him as “a lovely man”, also speaking of being stunned by what had happened.

Ian Cunningham wrote: “So so sad!! ...My thoughts are with this poor man’s family.”

Patricia Edwards said: “How sad don’t know what he must have been feeling poor man R.I.P Sir.”

Dean Fairclough wrote: “R.I.P hope you find peace on the other side.”

The coroner’s office will now look at the facts of the case before deciding if an inquest is needed to establish the cause of death and allow the certificate to be signed.