‘He was a risk taker but we thought he was growing out of it’ say parents of teen who fell to his death from shopping centre
PUBLISHED: 14:52 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:07 16 February 2018
A “gifted” former Norwich School student who fell to his death at an Oxford construction site had been warned by his parents about the risks of climbing buildings, an inquest has heard.
Max Mian, 19, was found dead on the morning of October 2, close to the entrance to the John Lewis store at the Westgate shopping centre.
He had only arrived in Oxford the day before to begin his second year studying at Brasenose College.
Today at Oxford Coroner’s Court, coroner Darren Salter ruled that the death was accidental.
The Classics undergraduate had taken ketamine during the night before his death, and the drug MDMA was also found in his system.
He had told friends of a desire to enter the Westgate construction site before.
His parents said after the inquest they knew he had an interest in scaling buildings, and had warned him it was ‘risky behaviour’.
He was spotted on CCTV heading towards the Westgate Centre, prior to its opening, in the early hours of the morning.
It is understood he fell from the John Lewis building at around 4.30am.
After his death, John Bowers, principal of the college, said Mr Mian was a ‘brilliant and popular student’.
Paying tribute to their son, Mr Mian’s parents Shah and Helen said: “Max was wonderfully extraordinary in so many ways - we loved him so much - he will be forever in our hearts and those of so many.”
They said in a joint statement that their son had been working hard at university and ‘burning the candle at both ends’.
They had dropped him off at university only the day before to begin his second year, and said today: “He was very much looking forward to seeing his friends.
“He was nervous but looking forward to the challenge of his second year.
“When he met with his friends they were bouncing around and he looked really happy to be with them.”
“He was a risk taker but we thought he was growing out of it.
“We were aware of three occasions where he had climbed buildings. We told him it was risky behaviour.”
Steffan Griffiths, Norwich School head master, said Max had been “much-loved” at the school between 2006 and 2016.
“Max was a very gifted all-rounder, with a particular love of Classics,” he said. “Our sympathies are with his family and many friends. They are in the thoughts and prayers of the Norwich School community.”
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