UCL student died after hitting his head in swimming pool whilst on holiday, inquest hears

Charlie Hopkins was described as a ‘lively, loving, trusting young man’


A history student at University College London (UCL) passed away after hitting his head in a hotel swimming pool in Mexico, an inquest heard.

Charlie Hopkins from Buckley, Wales, was 23 when he was found dead with a fractured skull whilst on holiday in Tulum, Quintana Roo, the METRO reports.

His father described him at the inquest as “a keen LGBTQ+ advocate and musician” and “a lively, loving, trusting young man” who saw “only the good in everyone.”

After being invited by a friend, Charlie arrived at Hotel Turquoise Petit in Tulum a day before his death.

The UCL student was last seen on CCTV footage walking on a balcony through the two-storey hotel at around 1am on 9th April, 2021.

“Very soon afterwards,” a surveillance camera captured movements in the swimming pool, and Charlie’s body was discovered by a hotel guest at the bottom of the pool five hours later.

There was uncertainty about how Charlie had died in an empty pool. It was initially suspected that he might have been assaulted, but his death was ultimately recorded as accidental from hitting his head when entering the pool.

Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers described what killed Charlie as “a blunt force head injury and drowning, consistent with a fall from height.” And coroner John Gittins added: “There is absolutely no reason to give consideration to it being a deliberate act.”

Charlie’s dad, Mark, said at the inquest that the history student was a “bubbly” man and the “light and soul of every room he was in.”

“Charlie would always finish talking to someone and say, ‘I love that person’ – that’s just the sort of person he was,” Mark said.

It was revealed that Charlie went on holiday after spending months in lockdown in London.

Mark said Charlie phoned his parents almost every day whilst in Mexico, so they “became concerned” when they didn’t hear from him for 24 hours.

They then received the “devastating” phone call informing them of Charlie’s death on 9th April.

If you are affected by this tragedy, please speak to someone. Samaritans can be contacted by calling 116 123, Anxiety UK by 03444 775 774, and Mind by 0300 123 3393 at any time. 

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