Tate Modern death-plunge man Michael Foreman was senior bank manager at HSBC


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The Independent Online

A man who fell 100ft to his death from a balcony at the busy Tate Modern art gallery in London was a senior bank manager at HSBC, an inquest has heard.

Michael Foreman fell from a fifth-floor balcony in the members’ bar area of the gallery on the South Bank last Tuesday evening after being reported missing the day before.

The 48-year-old, who lived wife his wife in Gray, Essex, was named as an inquest into the death opened at Southwark Coroners’ Court yesterday.

Coroner, Dr Andrew Harris, was told that Mr Foreman was a “senior bank manager with HSBC” and died of multiple traumatic injuries after falling as the gallery was busy with visitors for the Damien Hirst and Edvard Munch exhibitions.

“On July 23rd he was reported missing to Essex Police. On July 24 he was witnessed to jump from the fifth floor members’ bar area of the Tate Modern,” the hearing was told.

Police are not treating the incident as suspicious.

Mr Foreman had worked at the bank for 30 years and was based at its head office in Canary Wharf in the business banking section. “Our thoughts are with his wife and family,” said an HSBC spokesman.

He also played trombone for the Essex-based Tilbury brass band and previously belonged to the Aveley and Newham brass band in east London.

“He had a good job in the City and was always flying to Hong Kong so it makes you think what was going through his mind when he died,” said Mr Foreman’s friend, Derek Morris, a fellow member of the trombone section at the Tilbury brass band.

The 63-year-old added: “He was a quiet man, but very passionate about the trombone. He was very business-like and not very sociable. He was always very well-suited and always a gentleman. It's very sad news and I just can't believe it.“

Mr Foreman’s funeral is due to take place in Upminster, Essex, on Friday.

A statement from the Tilbury band read: “Our heartfelt sympathies go to Michael’s wife Janet and his parents Steve and Margaret. There will be an opportunity to remember Michael through the playing of music on the day.”

Mr Foreman’s family has asked those who want to offer a gift to make a donation in his memory to either the British Heart Foundation or Tilbury Band.

“Our deepest sympathies go to his family,” said a Tate Modern spokesman.