British father, 29, died in fall at Turkish airport

British father, 29, died in fall at Turkish airport when he jumped over a barrier after being removed from Jet2 flight home because he was acting ‘strangely’, inquest hears

  • Andrew Westlake, 29, died after falling at Dalaman Airport, Turkey in May 2018 
  • He’d been asked to leave a Jet2 flight bound to take him home to County Durham 
  • One witness said they saw the young father try and jump a barrier before he died
  • He was on a family holiday but was told to leave a hotel due to a series of rows 

A British father died in a fall after jumping over a barrier a Turkish airport, having been removed from a Jet2 flight home because he was acting ‘strangely,’ an inquest has heard.

Today’s hearing was told Andrew Westlake, 29, had been ordered to leave his hotel, where he had been staying with his partner and their daughter, in Marmaris after a series of rows at the resort.

He later spent two days at Dalaman Airport waiting for his flight home, and later begged staff ‘not to hit him’ as he boarded the flight.

He was removed for acting strangely, having already asked another passenger to carry his passport through security, staff told the inquest.

After leaving the Jet2 flight which was set to take him home, a witness saw him jump over a barrier and fall 50ft.

Andrew Westlake, pictured, 30, died in hospital in Turkey after suffering a 50ft fall at Dalaman Airport in May 2018

An inquest today heard Mr Westlake had been told to leave a hotel in Marmaris three days before he was due to fly home after repeated rows at the resort 

Today’s inquest heard how he went to the Honorary British Consulate in the resort of Marmaris, where he said he had been refused re-entry to the hotel, had no money and wanted to go to the airport even though his flight was not for three days.

The inquest in Crook, County Durham, was told he was given a small amount of money from a charity fund to pay for food and his bus fare to the airport.

Mr Westlake’s partner Nicola Bell was on the flight he was asked to leave, but she was not sitting with him and did not see what happened when he was removed from the plane, coroner James Thompson was told.

Zuhal Mete, a Jet2 customer co-ordinator at Dalaman Airport, said she first met Mr Westlake when he was brought off the aircraft, but she later found out he had been at the airport for two days.

Staff at Dalaman Airport (pictured) say Mr Westlake looked scared and was ‘begging,’ a worker, saying ‘please don’t hit me’ 

She said Mr Westlake looked scared and was ‘begging’ her co-worker, saying ‘please don’t hit me’.

The colleague told her Mr Westlake was asked to leave the plane because he had been acting strangely and another passenger was ‘not happy’ because of the behaviour.

Ms Mete said he had asked another passenger to help him through security, saying: ‘Please hold my passport because I cannot do it myself.’

And on the plane he complained about the air conditioning, saying he did not like the smell and it was ‘dangerous’, the inquest heard.

The Turkish customer co-ordinator met him at the air bridge and said Mr Westlake seemed drunk at first, but she could not smell alcohol on him.

Ms Mete said they offered him help to find accommodation and to call his family from their office, but she did not see him again once he was back in the main terminal.

She later received a phone call from the police, after Mr Westlake had fallen, in which the officer said the British tourist had been seen trying to get in the military airbase next to the airport, and he was brought back to the terminal.

Speaking at the time of his death in May 2018, Mr Westlake’s aunt Pauline Butler, 67, told ChronicleLive: ‘We really don’t know what to think. His mum is absolutely devastated. They were very close. He doted on his daughter.

Mr Westlake was said to be acting ‘strangely’ while boarding a flight from Turkey, complaining about the air conditioning. He had previously asked a stranger to carry his passport for him

‘It was their first family holiday together. He really settled down since she was born. He was a really doting dad. He absolutely idolised his little girl. He would do anything for her.’ 

Jet2 has previously confirmed Mr Westlake was not injured on board their aircraft. 

A British passenger with her daughter and her partner at the busy airport told MailOnline she saw the body of Mr Westlake lying on the floor.

Mr Westlake was asked to leave the plane because he had been acting strangely and another passenger was ‘not happy’ because of the behaviour

The woman said the incident was witnessed by passengers checking in for a Thomas Cook flight to Stansted and another flight checking in at the same time to Birmingham. 

‘I saw him lying on the floor below,’ she said. 

‘I screamed for someone to help him and the staff inside the airport came over. There was an airport doctor who treated him while he was laying there’.  

Relatives say they are devastated at his death and said Mr Westlake, left and right, ‘doted’ on his daughter. Witnesses say they heard him tell staff he ‘just wanted it to end’

Another woman, 23, of Hertfordshire, told the Mirror her partner tried to help Mr Westlake after the fall along with a Thomas Cook Airlines worker.

She said: ‘When we spoke to the airline representative who went down there, she said that he was saying to her that he just wanted it to end.’  

The hearing continues. 

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