‘Beautiful’ teen, 19, who fell to his death from St Paul’s Cathedral gallery pictured as heartbroken family pay tribute

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A 19-YEAR-OLD boy who died after falling from the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral has been remembered as a “beautiful, talented and intelligent son”.

Teen James Jorge Jose De Sousa Stayton suffered fatal injuries after the tragedy unfolded at the London landmark two weeks ago.

James Jorge Jose De Sousa Stayton was just 19-years-old when he fell to his death at St Paul's Cathedral two weeks ago
James Jorge Jose De Sousa Stayton was just 19-years-old when he fell to his death at St Paul’s Cathedral two weeks ago
SWNS:South West News Service

His mother, who attended the City of London Coroner’s Court with James’ sister, today sobbed as the inquest heard he had died from multiple injuries when he fell about 4pm on Monday April 1.

In a tribute to James, his family said: “We are all in deep shock at the loss of our beautiful, talented and intelligent son.

“He had a deep passion for history and revelled in sharing his knowledge with others. He truly was a young gentlemen, always willing to help others where he could.

“With his wicked sense of humour and mischievous smile he could bring irrepressible joy to anyone in his company.

“Words cannot adequately express the devastation we feel, nor the love we have for him. The world is inarguably a lesser place without JJ.”

They also thanked police and emergency services who helped support them after the tragedy.

INQUEST OPENS

An inquest opened today heard the teen – known as JJ to his friends and family – was born in Herefordshire and was a student at Queen Mary University of London at the time of his death.

Senior Coroner Alison Hewitt said: “The circumstances of his death was that on April 1, 2019, he fell from the Whispering Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

“There has been a post-mortem examination and the doctor has proposed the medical cause of death was multiple injuries, including a severe head injury.”

The inquest heard Ms De Sousa identified her son’s body at St Pancras Mortuary.

Officers from the City of London Police have compiled a report for the Coroner on the circumstances surrounding Mr De Sousa Stayton’s death, which is being treated as non-suspicious.

The tragedy comes after 23-year-old Lidia Dragescu fell to her death from the gallery in 2017.


The Whispering Gallery sits in St Paul’s dome and attracts visitors from all over the world.

It was given its name because people can whisper against its walls and be heard on the opposite side.

The iconic cathedral was built in the 17th Century to designs made by Sir Christopher Wren.

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Emergency services rushed to St Paul's Cathedral just before 4pm on Monday
Emergency services rushed to St Paul’s Cathedral just before 4pm on Monday, April 1
Rex Features
Emergency services rushed to St Paul's Cathedral two weeks ago after the tragedy
Emergency services rushed to St Paul’s Cathedral two weeks ago
Credit: Bernd Tschakert / Alamy Stock Photo

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