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Felixstowe man took his own life during his Ipswich Crown Court trial, inquest finds

PUBLISHED: 08:29 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:37 06 July 2017

The inquest was held at Beacon House, Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

The inquest was held at Beacon House, Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

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A man took his own life by stepping off the Orwell Bridge seven days after the start of his Ipswich Crown Court trial, an inquest heard.

The body of Ian Durrands, of Cage Lane, Felixstowe, was found in the River Orwell near the West Bank terminal in Ipswich, on October 27, 2014.

Mr Durrands had left a note saying he was intending to die on his 63rd birthday, the inquest at Beacon House, in Whitehouse Road, Ipswich heard yesterday.

He had sent a letter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission the day before his death.

In it he raised concerns about some aspects of the investigation relating to his court case, and indicated he had already made a previous suicide attempt.

Senior Coroner for Suffolk Dr Peter Dean said: “In the letter he had said he would leave the earth on the anniversary of the day he had arrived.”

Earlier in the hearing the inquest was told Mr Durrands had been a defendant in a trial. He had failed to appear at court on the morning of his death.

Enquiries were made to locate him. Mr Durrands’ car was found in a layby near the Orwell Bridge.

Pc Guy Morris went to the Strand beneath the bridge at around 1pm.

It was then reported to him that a body was found upstream near the West Bank terminal.

When he arrived a small boat was in the middle of the river and a security guard told the officer a body had been found.

Mr Durrands was retrieved from the water by the RNLI. He was pronounced dead by a paramedic at 1.34pm.

A post-mortem examination determined the cause of death was drowning. A secondary cause was a fall from height.

On the Friday before Mr Durrands died he had told his brother-in-law he had a lot of evidence to prove he was not guilty, but he was concerned it would not be able to be used at his trial, which had started on October 20.

The inquest heard Mr Durrands was angry about this.

Dr Dean said: “We do not know what the outcome would have been, but clearly the trial was part of the scene in which the tragedy took place.

“He (Mr Durrands) understood the intended outcome of his actions. I am therefore going to record a conclusion that he took his own life.”

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