Thursday, February 20, 2020

Surgeon jumped to his death after arguing with girlfriend

A budding young surgeon leapt from the seventh floor of a hotel during a drunken row with his girlfriend who was celebrating her birthday, an inquest heard.

Giorgio Contardi, 24, said he ‘wanted to die’ before ‘flying through’ the window and plunging to his death as Konstantina Gkatzia watched in horror.

He had planned to propose to his girlfriend of three-of-a-half years on top of the Empire State Building on a surprise trip to New York later this year.

The couple had been drinking with friends in Leeds on March 23, 2019 when they began arguing over Mr Contardi’s alcohol consumption, Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

As they returned to their hotel room, the argument ‘got physical’ and each of them threatened to break up with the other and claimed they ‘wanted to die’. Giving evidence Miss Gkatzia said her boyfriend’s last words were ‘do you think I could ever hurt you,’ to which she replied ‘you just did’. With tears streaming down her face, she added:

 ‘The next thing I know I just see him flying through the window, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. ‘I ran up [to the window] and saw him fall on the floor. Everything happened in seconds, I couldn’t comprehend what was happening.’

 Mr Contardi, from Chesterfield, South Yorkshire, was a masters student at Huddersfield University specialising in podiatric surgery at the time of his death. He was rushed by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead at 1.03am on March 24, 2019.

Miss Gkatzia told the court her boyfriend had no history of mental health issues and the only time they ever argued was after he had been drinking.

 The court heard how the couple who met at university, had been described as ‘happy’ and ‘in love’. On March 23 the pair travelled to Leeds to celebrate Miss Gkatzia’s birthday and checked into room 711 of the Roomzzz hotel, where two of their friends were also staying.

 Shortly after arriving at 5pm Mr Contardi began drinking vodka before the group got an Uber to the city centre. The inquest heard how the friends had around three cocktails each before going for a meal, where more alcohol was consumed. Miss Gkatzia said: ‘Giorgio just kept finding it funny to order more drinks, drinks kept coming over all the time.’

After leaving the restaurant and heading back to the first bar, she noticed her boyfriend stumbling and asked her group to discretely order him soft drinks without his knowledge. But soon after arriving, Miss Gkatzia spotted Mr Contardi attempting to order alcohol and confronted him about his behaviour, prompting him to storm out into the street.

The couple rowed, got into a taxi and returned to Roomzzz where the argument escalated and the pair began hitting one another. Miss Gkatzia told the court: ‘He grabbed me by my neck and he was holding me, I was a bit scared. ‘In normal life Giorgio was anything but that, he wouldn’t touch a fly.

‘The moment he let go of me I said, “that’s it, I’m breaking up with you”…. I didn’t mean it.’ Miss Gkatzia thought it was ‘weird’ when Mr Contardi put his hand out of a window, which he had opened because he was hot. Recalling how the pair of them both said ‘I want to die’, Miss Gkatzia said she didn’t take it seriously and thought they would be ‘fine again’ the next day. She said: ‘I remember Giorgio saying, “Konstantina do you think I could ever hurt you?” I said “you just did”, I shouted it.’

At this point, Miss Gkatzia says she saw her boyfriend run towards the window and jump out.
His body was spotted by passers-by and an ambulance was called, which took him to the hospital where he died shortly after. Miss Gkatzia told the court she does not believe her boyfriend meant to kill himself. She added: ‘There’s no chance on earth he would mean to do that. I think he was trying to make me worried. ‘I’m 100% sure it was an accident. Giorgio was the happiest guy I have ever met in my life.

‘Five days before we were looking at flats and moving in together and starting our lives together.’ In a statement, Mr Contardi dad said: ‘His death is such a tragic loss to our family.’ Coroner Jonathan Leach ruled the trainee surgeon died from head injuries.


  1. This is so sad. He had a promising life. Life is not only about relationships

  2. This is so sad. He had a promising life. Life is not only about relationships