A FATHER who was breaking neighbours’ TV aerials so he could laugh at them the next day fell to his death while trying to get back into his flat, an inquest heard.

Rodney O’Dell had been on the roof of his block of flats overnight when he slipped, falling around 40ft and suffering multiple traumatic injuries.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard paramedics battle to save the 41-year-old, of Monks Way, Swaythling, but he died at Southampton General Hospital the following day.

A witness told the inquest that before Mr O’Dell went back inside after looking up at the stars from the roof, he “wanted to go break people’s aerials off and laugh at them the next day”.

The witness said he then tried to break through a skylight to get back into the building. Failing to do so, he tried to climb along the roof, but when a pole he was holding broke, he slipped and fell.

Mr O’Dell was described as an alcoholic during the inquest and was a drug user. Pathologist Dr Mark Walker confirmed he was around four times the drink-drive limit and there was evidence of cocaine in his system when he died.

Dr Walker also confirmed he had liver cirrhosis, which is usually caused by alcohol abuse.

His sister, Bianca, said he had spent a couple of stints in rehab, but “he never really got over” the breakdown of his relationship.

She added he had also been diagnosed with depression. In a statement she said: “He needed a structured existence. [Mr O’Dell] used to like to climb on the roof of his flat.”

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, senior coroner Grahame Short described Mr O’Dell’s decision to go out on the roof as “foolhardy”.

He said: “I believe that his tolerance to alcohol is likely to have been high. However, he did not always use cocaine and I think, therefore, the cocaine would have had an effect on him.

“I think this his judgement was affected by the alcohol and cocaine.”