Tragic death of Derry man

Ryan Stewart, on right, with his brother Michael, (2003MM30)
Ryan Stewart, on right, with his brother Michael, (2003MM30)

The family of a Derry man killed in a fall in Jersey have said his death was “a freak accident.”

30 year-old Michael Stewart, originally from the Brandywell area of the city, died after falling from a window of his flat on the Channel island in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He was returning from a night out with friends and had forgotten the key of his flat and attempted to climb in through a window.

The Derry man had been living on Jersey for almost five years and had a partner there.

His brother, Ryan, who lives in Inishowen, said the family were “totally shocked” by the news of Michael’s death. “It came as a bolt from the blue,” he said.

“The Guards came to the house and told my mother and she telephoned me. I couldn’t believe it. It was the last thing I was expecting,” he said.

“He was locked out when he got back home and tried to climb in and that is when it happened. It was a freak accident. It is the kind of thing that could happen to anyone. Everyone forgets their key at some stage but you never expect that something like this could happen,” he explained.

The family will now have to wait for the body to be released and it could take several days before his remains are brought back to the north west.

“We are just waiting at the minute. We are still in a state of shock.

“There is no coroner on Jersey and they have to fly one out from the UK so we are waiting for that to happen.

“An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday and there will also have to be an inquest.

“We are hoping that the inquest will be opened and then adjourned straight away to allow us to bring his body home.

“In a way it still hasn’t hit us and probably won’t until we can bring him back home,” Ryan said.

Ryan also posted a message on Facebook thanking all those who contacted the family to offer support and sympathy.

“Many thanks for all of your messages of support today about our Michael.

“A tragic accident that has broken our hearts. My wee bro will live long in memory, hard to take it in, thanks again,” he said.

The police in Jersey have said they are not treating the death as suspicious.