Nottingham Trent student fell to her death after sliding down bannisters at pre-drinks

‘She was the most beautiful, caring, kind, warm-hearted girl, both inside and out’

A Nottingham Trent University student fell to her death after sliding down a bannister during pre-drinks with friends.

An inquest at Nottingham Council House on this Wednesday heard evidence from DC Demi Robertson who described how Benita had climbed on the bannister with her back facing outwards when she lost her balance and fell, with the incident being captured on CCTV.

Benita was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre but died due to her injuries on March 31st. Sarah Wood, the assistant coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, tied an inquest hearing that Benita’s cause of death was “traumatic brain injury” caused by the fall and “alcohol intoxication”, reports Nottinghamshire Live. 

20-year-old Benita Gill was studying marketing at Nottingham Trent University and  had set up her own eyelash business that operated in Uxbridge and Slough when the tragic accident happened.

Benita’s parents, her brother and two of her friends attended the inquest with a statement on behalf of the family being read out by one of her friends which said: “She was the most beautiful, caring, kind, warm-hearted girl, both inside and out and her energy and smile would enlighten the room. We’re blessed to have had her in our lived, but her time with us was cut short and we all miss her so much that we can’t put it into words. We are left so heartbroken and devastated.”

They also talked about how Benita had just been offered a placement in West London and had set up an eyelash business in her first year of university. Benita had intended to travel after she graduated from university in order to “experience the world before hitting her career aspirations”.

Coroner Wood told the inquest: “Benita sat sideways on the bannister of the stairs and started to slide down it with her back facing the stairwell. I find that alcohol has contributed to decision making in doing so, which has ultimately led her to fall, causing a traumatic brain injury”.

Wood also stated that Benita was not holding her phone while sitting on the handrail, nor were her friends filming her. At the time of the incident, no health and safety regarding the student accommodation run by Unipol were present.

An independent health and safety review was carried out by the company, which resulted in a recommendation for a higher banister reaching hip level to be installed.

Benita’s family thanked the police and the hospital for the support but criticised the speed of communication from the university, claiming it took two months for the university to send a letter of condolences.

A Nottingham Trent University spokesperson told Nottinghamshire Live: “The university community was saddened to learn of the death of Benita, who was a popular and highly-valued student. We continue to offer support to our students who knew Benita or who are affected by this news. We again extend our condolences to her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

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