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Missing pensioner drowned, inquest heard

PUBLISHED: 21:03 31 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

SLIPPERS and a jacket hanging on a bridge led to the discovery of a missing pensioners body, an inquest heard.

Raymond Powell, 80 from Foxhall Fields, East Bergholt, went missing in just his pyjamas in March.

SLIPPERS and a jacket hanging on a bridge led to the discovery of a missing pensioners body, an inquest heard.

Raymond Powell, 80 from Foxhall Fields, East Bergholt, went missing in just his pyjamas in March.

He was found in the River Stour at Flatford by a dog walker who had spotted his clothing on the bridge.

Dr Peter Dean, greater Suffolk coroner said in an inquest that Mr Powell had gone missing the day before his granddaughter's wedding.

He recorded an open verdict and said that there was no evidence that Mr Powell had intended to take his own life.

Mr Powell's son, Stephen said in a statement at the inquest on Wednesday: "I took a phone call from my mother and she said that my father was not at home and went out in his pyjamas.

"I went over to Capel and on my arrival my mother said my cousin Jim was also out looking in his car."

The pair eventually linked up together and went to look at Flatford.

Mr Powell said: "Jim took the lock gates and I went in the other direction.

"We met up a while later and Jim said that a body had been found."

The body was that of Mr Powell and had been found around 7am that day on March 28, which was his birthday.

Dr Dean said that dog walker Robert Williams had first spotted a blue ladies bicycle leaning against the railings of the bridge, with its saddle covered in early morning dew.

The slippers and jacket nearby were also covered in dew.

In a statement Mr William said: "I could not see anyone but then for some reason I looked down and saw the body floating in the river."

Dr Dean said that the cause of death was found to be drowning and no alcohol or drugs apart from a therapeutic amount of quinine had been found in Mr Powell's blood.

There was no previous history of depression and it is not believed he was suffering from depression at the time.

His son said that his father had seemed his normal self when he saw him on the Sunday before, although his mother said that he had not been himself lately and had felt ill.


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