Ipswich: Inquest into death of talented musician Peter Ralph reveals there are still unanswered questions surrounding his death

Peter Ralph

Peter Ralph - Credit: Contributed

Mystery surrounds the death of a young Ipswich musician whose body was recovered from a river.

The body of 26-year-old Peter Ralph was discovered in the water close to Stoke Bridge in Ipswich on September 10 last year, an inquest heard.

A post mortem carried out in London found that the cause of Mr Ralph’s death was drowning.

Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean, sitting at the inquest at IP-City Centre in Bath Street, was told that the former Dale Hall Primary and Northgate High School student had been living in Cavendish Lodge, Turret Lane, and was seeking help and support for drug addiction.

It had previously been reported the talented guitarist could often be found busking around Ipswich and was well-known among the town’s skater community.

Speaking to the Ipswich Star last September, his mother Rona Ralph, who lives in Yorkshire, paid tribute to her “musical and creative boy”.

She said he had struggled with his drug addiction but was beginning to overcome his demons.

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“He had recently renewed his Christian faith and he was due to find out whether funding had been allocated for rehab,” she said.

“Two or three years ago I was expecting to get a knock on the door with bad news because he was so heavily into drugs.

“But he was getting better and he was looking to get help. It has come as a shock to us all.”

Dr Dean, recording an open verdict, said no evidence “pointed in the direction” of there being another person involved in the incident that led to Mr Ralph’s death.

He said there was a possibility an accident had caused the death, and added there was no history of suicidal intent.

“Sadly, unanswerable questions remain,” he said. “There are possibilities there. But the evidence does not take us one way or another.”

Detective Inspector Trevor Prior, of Suffolk and Norfolk Major Investigation Team, told Dr Dean two men that had been questioned by officers were no longer being held in connection with the death.

But he said police are still investigating after evidence obtained from Mr Ralph’s phone identified another male suspected who supplied Class A drugs to him.

The force has submitted papers to the Crown Prosecution Service and are awaiting a decision, Det Insp Prior added.

Pay tribute to Mr Ralph – email starnews@archant.co.uk