An inquest has been told that a man was killed by a piece of masonry that fell with "no warning" while having a drink with friends at a south London restaurant last summer.
North Westminster Coroner's Court heard that Peter Westropp died in front of his friends at the terrace area of Le Bouchon Bordelais, a French restaurant and bar in Battersea, on 10 August last year - just after the London riots.
The friends described the horror of seeing the 27-year-old die after they had gone out for drinks.
Westropp, of Scotts Lane, Shortlands, Bromley, south east London, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers, the inquest heard.
His friend Sam Hufton told the jury the area was quiet, adding he first noticed something was wrong when he heard a "crunch" and the table seemed like it had collapsed. He then looked at Westropp across the table who had a blank expression on his face.
Hufton said: "Fluid was coming out of his mouth… he rocked back in his seat. I looked back at his face and it was basically lifeless."
Simon Mantell, who was also part of the group, told the inquest that he was hit on the shoulder before noticing his friend had been struck on the head. He said: "His eyes were heavily bloodshot… he was looking towards me but there was no focus. There was a lot of blood… very little sign of life. Shallow breathing gave us some hope."
The inquest before Deputy Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe, which is scheduled to last five days, continues.
By Kerstin Kühn
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