Birmingham Uni student died following night out with friends

Birmingham Uni student, 21, died of serious head wound after drunkenly falling in alleyway following night out with friends in club, inquest hears

  • A 21-year-old uni student died coming back from a nightclub, an inquest found
  • Joseph Derbisz fell after becoming separated from his friends on March 28
  • A university security guard found his body in an alleyway after he went missing
  • The alarm was raised when he did not visit his family for Mother’s Day
  • A city university student died in a ‘suspected accident’ following a night out with friends, an inquest found on Tuesday.

    The 21-year-old suffered a traumatic head injury after becoming separated from friends and falling from a height.

    Joseph Derbisz was at the University of Birmingham nightclub for a Fab N Fresh night at the Guild of Students in Edgbaston when he became separated from his pals at about 3.30am. His friends reported him missing and a West Midlands Police search was launched.

    The alarm was raised when he did not turn up to visit his family in Rugby, Warwickshire, for Mother’s Day.

    Police enlisted the help of a drone and helicopter to try and track Joseph’s movements. 

    But a a university security guard found his body in an alleyway, between a plant room and car park just 250m from the nightclub, on March 28.

    Fire crews were called in to recover the body from near to a car park.

    Joseph Derbisz, 21, pictured, was last seen at a University of Birmingham nightclub in the early hours of Sunday before becoming separated from his friends

    Friends told police that the sudden disappearance of Joseph, pictured, who studied mechanical engineering, was 'completely out of character for him'.

    Joseph Derbisz, 21, left and right, was last seen at a University of Birmingham nightclub in the early hours of Sunday before becoming separated from his friends. Friends told police that the sudden disappearance of Joseph, pictured, who studied mechanical engineering, was ‘completely out of character for him’

    The coroner identified him ‘through photo identification found on his person matching his resemblance and photographs provided by his family,’ the hearing in Birmingham was told on Tuesday, June 7. 

    West Midlands Police said they are not treating the death as supicious and say their thoughts remain with Joesph’s loved ones.

    Joseph, who was studying engineering, prompted an outpouring of love from his colleagues and friends when they heard the news.

    Many people described Coventry-born Joseph from Tiverton Road, Selly Oak, as a ‘lovely lad’.

    A crowdfunding page was also launched by friends and family to cover the costs of his funeral.

    Birmingham and Solihull Assistant Coroner Ian Dreelan today opened an inquest into the student’s death. He told the hearing: ‘The rationale for opening an inquest in this matter is because it involves a suspected accident.

    ‘Joseph was a student at the University of Birmingham where he was studying engineering. On the evening of Saturday, 26 March, 2022, he went with friends to the Student Guild Student Union within the university campus.

    Joseph failed to make it home after leaving Fab N Fresh, in the Selly Oak area of the city, at around 3.30am on Saturday, March 26

    Joseph failed to make it home after leaving Fab N Fresh, in the Selly Oak area of the city, at around 3.30am on Saturday, March 26

    West Midlands police found the body of a man off Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, pictured the scene

    West Midlands police found the body of a man off Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, pictured the scene

    A body was found near a car park, pictured, off Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, often used as a cut-through by students, shortly after midday

    A body was found near a car park, pictured, off Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, often used as a cut-through by students, shortly after midday

    ‘Around 3.30am (on March 27) the following morning, Joseph left the Guild. He was reported missing at 5.43hrs later that morning. At 12.28hrs on 28 March, a body was found by a security guard at the university. 

    ‘There has been a post-mortem examination conducted. Dr Trotter, a consultant pathologist, has provided a report. He says, in his opinion, the following cause of death is 1A: traumatic cerebral injury, and 1B: fall from a height and 2: acute ethanol alcohol intoxication.’

    Mr Dreelan added: ‘The scope of the inquest will be in the circumstances leading to the deceased’s death and cause of death. I offer my sincere condolences to the family for their loss at this time.’

    A pre-inquest review is to take place in October, with the final hearing listed for two to three days from March 27, 2023.