TRIBUTES have been paid to a student from Bognor Regis who died after a fall at his university.
Matthew Cole was said by his friends at the University of Portsmouth to be a ‘warm and gentle person’.
Matthew, who was studying forensic psychology, died after he fell from the ninth floor of the university building of Mercantile House in the Hampshire Terrance and Wiltshire Street area of Portsmouth.
Hampshire Constabulary has said the 20-year-old’s death is not being treated as suspicious. They were called at 3.54pm on Monday, January 13.
Catherine Redding, the president of the university’s students’ union, paid tribute to Matthew.
She said: “Matthew was a final-year forensic psychology student who has been described as a warm and gentle person.
“He was making good progress with his studies and was well regarded by staff and friends.
“This tragedy is a shock to the student body and we send our deepest condolences to Matthew’s family and friends.”
John King, 19, a second year student, described the news as a tragedy.
“University is meant to be the best time of your life. It’s such a shame,” he said.
Isabelle Moss, 21, also a student at the university, said the incident was ‘close to home’ for everyone there.
“It is someone our age. It’s so sad. Everyone who I have heard speaking about it says it is a tragedy,” she said.
Thomas Needham, 22, who is in the last year of his photography degree, said he heard Matthew was a ‘very nice guy’.
He said: “We’re so close to finishing. Someone said to me it is the stress of it all but everyone goes through it differently.”
Professor Graham Galbraith, the university’s vice-chancellor, emailed students on Tuesday morning, January 14, about Matthew’s death. He said: “The university community of staff and students feel a deep sense of shock at this tragic loss of life.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Matthew’s family and friends who have the full support of the university at this difficult time.”
Tributes to Matthew were also left on social media sites. A counselling session was available for students and staff on Tuesday, January 14.
Anyone who would like to pay tribute to Matthew can email: firstname.lastname@example.org