Belfast Telegraph

We just want him home, say family of fatal fall victim

By Donna Deeney

The family of a young Londonderry man who died in a tragic accident in Jersey is preparing to bring his body home for burial.

Michael Stewart (30) was found by emergency services close to railings outside his home in St Helier in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He is thought to have sustained fatal injuries on the railings, possibly from a fall, according to police who have described his death as a tragic accident.

Exact details of Mr Stewart's death are still not clear but his family believe he had been out celebrating St Patrick's Day with friends, forgot his key and tried to gain entry to his home through a window before losing his footing and falling.

Speaking to the North West Telegraph, Mr Stewart's brother Ryan said the family's grief is being compounded by the miles that are separating them.

He said: “All we want to do as a family is bring Michael home. But we have to try and be patient and wait until a post-mortem is carried out which won't be done until a coroner is flown from England to Jersey because they don't have one on the island.

“We can scarcely take in the fact that this is really happening, on the day when Michael would have rung my mother to wish her a happy Mother's Day, instead she had a phonecall delivering this horrific news.

“Michael was happy in Jersey where he has lived for the past five years, although he came home often to see his daughter Jenny who is just nine-years-old and he completely doted on her.

“He recently sent my parents their tickets to come over in June and we were all expecting him to announce his engagement then.

“He was a real daredevil, always game for anything but he was well settled in Jersey.

“He had a steady job as a plumber, his own house and we were just waiting for him to say that he was getting engaged to his girlfriend Caroline.

“He celebrated his 30th birthday in January — Michael and Caroline had the trip of a lifetime to Las Vegas to mark the occasion so we are all struggling to take in the fact that we are organising to bring him home to Derry for his funeral.

“The undertaker was with us and you almost had to pinch yourself to see if it is real and we are actually having these conversations about Michael but we are a very close family and we are supporting each other.”

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