Drunken accountant, 23, died falling from clifftop after he ran from taxi to try to dodge the fare
Source: www.dailymail.co.uk/tom
A young accountant fell off a cliff in Cardiff and died after he ran from a taxi in an attempt to dodge the fare following a drunken night out with friends.

An inquest in Cardiff heard how Jacob Huw Phillips, 23, was staying with his mother in South Wales during Christmas when he fell to his death.

After visiting his father in Barry, he decided to go out in Cardiff with two friends on December 27.


At approximately 2am on December 28, the three friends decided to end their night and got into a taxi back to where they were staying in Penarth.

Mr Phillips, who worked as a finance assistant at Pretty Green’s headquarters in Reading, was with Padraig Crowley and Rory Robinson.

Mr Robinson said: 'The plan was to go to Penarth but we had not enough money for the taxi. We stopped by Padraig’s house and discussed that we should run from the taxi and not pay. I ran off in the direction of Padraig’s house, Jacob followed in another direction.

Once they started running away, the boys became separated and Mr Phillips, who studied accounting at the University of Birmingham, did not return to the house that night. His friends were unable to get hold of him.

The taxi driver, David Sidaway, said: 'The three males got out of the taxi at an ATM. I assumed they were taking cash out.'

Mr Sidaway told the inquest he followed Mr Phillips down several streets in Penarth until he lost him behind a building. He described where they were as 'absolutely pitch black'.
'I could hear him climbing something and I stopped. I couldn’t walk any further because I couldn’t see where I was going.

‘I had no idea how much danger he was in. I wouldn’t have left him if I had known.’

Mr Phillips’ body was discovered by a dog walker the following morning at the end of the disused Northern Promenade, an area of rocky foreshore at the base of the cliff between Cardiff Bay and Penarth.

Senior coroner Andrew Barkley recorded a conclusion of accidental death.
‘In the early hours of December 28, 2014, he took a taxi back with friends to Penarth. It is clear they intended to pay the fare by the fact they stopped at the ATM on the way,’ he said.
‘He knew the area but not necessarily where Mr Crowley lived. He did not know the area when he was being pursued by Mr Sidaway. It is clear from the evidence I have heard he had consumed a relatively large amount of alcohol.

‘There is no way either could have known the danger that lay in front of him. The following day with the benefit of light it was clear the danger he faced by the sheer drop off the cliff that was just yards beyond the fence.

‘It is likely that he became disorientated and there is no evidence that he knew where he was at the time. Therefore I dismiss suicide as a possibility. I conclude his death was an accident.'