Friends pay tribute to Glastonbury MC Luke 'Lenny' Harris at inquest
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The friends of a man who died in tragic circumstances in Glastonbury paid tribute to his caring nature and generosity at an inquest on Tuesday morning.
22-year-old Luke 'Lenny' Harris was badly injured after falling from a window in Coachman's Yard, Northload Street, Glastonbury on February 25 last year.
He sustained head injuries and died in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, two days later.
Luke grew up in Wookey Hole, attended the Blue School in Wells and then Strode College in Street. He was unemployed at the time of his death, but was a well-known drum and bass MC, performing under the name of MC Lensta.
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Friend and flatmate, Emma Cork, told the inquest Lenny was a passionate, loving, young man who had struggled with depression in the past. He drank heavily from time to time and used drugs recreationally.
The inquest also heard that Mr Harris had sometimes sat in the open window to smoke.
In the days leading up to his death he had been tearful and unhappy, but would not tell her what the problem was. She said he had lost his best friend in a car accident and had been unhappy about being out of work.
Just hours before he died, he hugged her, told her he loved her, but implied he would never see her again.
But his friends also spoke of plans he had made for the future – parties, music events and festivals and was excited about moving into a new home with his friends.
The court heard he was an ambitious young man, who got along with almost everyone he met and wanted to make people happy.
Adam Loak, who was at the flat at the time of the incident, said they had spent the afternoon watching rugby on the TV with a few drinks.
The group had gone to the Market House Inn, and he and Emma had returned with a bottle of wine, while another friend was asleep on the sofa.
Emma had gone to bed and Adam drifted off on the sofa.
Sometime later he heard a door bang, but had dozed off again until he was woken by screaming outside the flat.
"I woke up and saw the window was open," he said. "I looked out of it and I could see Lenny on the pavement below. I shouted for Emma and we ran down to check on him."
Another friend, Lainey Moran, said she had spent some time with Lenny that afternoon, and that some of the group had been taking the drug 2CB.
She said she did not believe Luke had taken any of the drug.
Jack Wickham, a 15-year-old who had been out with friends in Glastonbury, said he had been walking through Northload Street at around 11.10pm when music caught his attention.
He looked up to see where it was coming from and saw a man sitting in an open window with his back to the street. In a statement, he said the man seemed to roll backwards, out of the window. "It looked like he grabbed the guttering for a split second, and then he let go," he said. "He landed about 10 feet away from us."
Carolin Comperti had been out with her son, Alex, and had been in Northload Street when they saw Luke fall.
Alex reached his side, trying to find a pulse while Carolin called for an ambulance. He held his hand until the paramedics arrived.
DC Karen Holt said she had initially been involved in helping to take statements from people after Luke's death, but had been involved in investigations that he owed money to drug dealers.
Two brothers – Oliver and Albrit Rowe – who police say had confessed to dealing drugs – had been arrested after a text message was found on Luke's phone, claiming he owed them £1,400.
At the inquest, Luke's friends said most of that figure was for tickets and clothing.
Luke had argued with Albrit about the money he owed on the Friday night at Tor Leisure centre, and had been asked to leave the premises as a result of the row.
Luke had visited his GP, Dr Michael Pearce at the end of October, saying he felt depressed.
The doctor described him as being tearful and worried about losing his job, but would not elaborate further on reasons behind his depression.
Luke had been referred to the community mental health team, who had tried – but failed – to make contact with him.
Coroner Tony Williams said he would take the Rowe's evidence with a pinch of salt, adding that in order to give a verdict of suicide, he had to be sure beyond reasonable doubt that Luke had intended to take his own life.
He said there was not enough evidence to suggest Luke wanted to take his own life, but felt unable to rule the death an accident – particularly in light of some of the comments Luke had made to his friends.
He recorded an open verdict.
Anyone affected by Luke's death may wish to talk to Cruse Bereavement Care on 0844 477 9400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org